Bleeding gums can be tricky. While they are a common outcome of having gum disease, it is definitely not normal for your gums to bleed! You can avoid having problems with your gums and gum disease by brushing and flossing every day to remove harmful plaque and tartar. These tend to irritate sensitive gum tissue with their build-up of harmful oral bacteria along the gum line, leaving your gums red, irritated and bleeding.
Along with removing harmful plaque and tartar buildup, you can help prevent gum disease by replacing your toothbrush or toothbrush head when it is worn or frayed, floss gently around your gums, and keep gingivitis (early gum disease) away by seeing our dentist regularly.
Why Gums Bleed
The main cause of bleeding gums is periodontal disease (gum disease). As we said, lack of proper daily oral hygiene care is the number one factor for your gums to bleed. Combine this with a lack of routine dental cleanings to get rid of hardened plaque and tartar, your receding gum pockets will form, and the deeper they become, the worse shape your gums are in. Bacteria thrive in these deep gum pockets where they can’t easily be cleaned with your normal hygiene routine. Instead, as saliva mixes with this bacterial accumulation, the only way to remove it is with a professional dental cleaning. Left untreated, the bacteria damage the gum tissue, causing inflammation and bleeding. It also exposes tooth roots and over time, destroys supportive bone material.
Other factors promoting gum disease are medical conditions like diabetes, leukemia or cancer. Even hormonal changes in females from menstruation or pregnancy can harm your gums.
Home Care to Prevent Bleeding Gums
1 – Cleaning: Brushing at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush can make all the difference in the world. If you have trouble with manual dexterity like arthritis, you can use an electric or battery-operated toothbrush. Brush gently in a circular motion, no need to “saw” harshly around the gums. Flossing at least once a day is vital, but you also have to be gentle with it so that you don’t harm your gums.
2 – Rinsing: Washing out your mouth with salt water daily can get rid of some of the bad oral bacteria so that your gums and start to heal. According to the American Dental Academy, or ADA, you can just stir in half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and it will help heal bleeding gums.
3 – Stop smoking: This harmful habit doesn’t just destroy your health and lungs while inviting oral cancer, it harms your body’s immune system so you are weaker overall, including your body’s ability to fight gum inflammation. Couple that with making it harder for your gums to heal and stop bleeding.
4 – Boost your Vitamin C: A vitamin C deficiency can easily leave you with bleeding gums. You want to make sure your body gets the nutrients it needs to be healthy and strong as it fights oral bacteria. Also, get enough vitamin K as it contributes to blood clotting which is important when you are treating bleeding in the body, including the gums.
5 – Kill bacteria: Use a medicated mouthwash to help treat bleeding gums and prevent them. By destroying bacteria, it can lower any inflammation of the gums to soothe them. Mouthwashes with chlorhexidine and hydrogen peroxide can have a big impact on your gum health.
We hope this information helps you prevent getting gum disease as well as treat it if you have it. For more information, if you notice you have bleeding gums, we invite you to come in and see our dentist. We can treat and prevent your gums from deteriorating by stopping gum disease in its tracks. You deserve a healthy smile!