Do you often experience bleeding gums while brushing your teeth? Although traces of blood while brushing your teeth could be an indication of injury, frequent bleeding from the gums could be a sign of underlying conditions that should be treated by a doctor or dentist.
What causes bleeding gums?
Gum disease is the most common cause of bleeding gums. If your gums consistently bleed when brushing, it may be due to plaque buildup on your teeth or a sign of a more serious medical condition. Plaque is a breeding ground for germs that attack healthy tissue around your teeth, causing gums to become inflamed and irritated. This often causes gums to bleed whenever you floss or brush your teeth.
With that said, there are a number of other factors which can cause bleeding gums, ranging from overly aggressive brushing and incorrect flossing technique to vitamin deficiencies and certain medications.
Overly vigorous brushing and using the wrong kind of brush are common causes of bleeding gums. Try using a ‘medium hardness’ toothbrush and use a gentle, circular motion to massage and clean your teeth and gums.
Although daily flossing is a critical component of oral hygiene, poor flossing techniques can cause your gums to bleed. Rather than forcing the flossing tool between your teeth, slide it between them gently, following the natural arc of each tooth.
Deficiencies in vitamins C and K can also cause bleeding gums. Vitamin K is essential for your blood to coagulate properly after an injury, and vitamin C plays an important role in tissue repair and growth.
If you are taking blood thinners, they may be to blame for bleeding gums after brushing. These drugs reduce your blood’s ability to clot. Always speak to your doctor or dentist about any drugs you may be taking.
Finally, if you are pregnant, hormonal changes could alter your body’s response to the bacteria that cause gum disease. This is why some pregnant women experience swollen and bleeding gums.
How do you treat bleeding gums?
The easiest and most important step to take when treating bleeding gums is to ensure you are following a complete daily oral hygiene routine. Failure to properly brush and floss can leave plaques stuck in your teeth, which harden into tartar (a solidified material that plaques bonds to) and continue irritating the gums. This may progress into a more advanced form of gum disease. One of the best ways to reduce plaque buildup is by brushing two times a day using fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least one time each day.
Adjusting your diet can also help alleviate bleeding gums. Although they may be delicious, foods rich in simple carbohydrates or sugar can increase your risk of developing gum and tooth problems. You don’t have to completely eliminate sweets to improve your bleeding gums, but reducing the amount of them you consume and brushing after eating them may help stop your gums from bleeding.
If you’ve got your dental hygiene on point and stopped eating sweets but still haven’t seen results, some people find that rinsing their mouth with salty water dries up bacteria, preventing bleeding. A common home remedy is to rinse with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
When should you see a dentist about bleeding gums?
If none of the interventions we’ve covered have stopped your gums from bleeding, it may be time to see a dentist. Additional symptoms like red or swollen gums, sensitive gums, gums that seem to be separating from the teeth, frequent bad breath or taste in your mouth, loose adult teeth or changes in the way your top and bottom teeth align are also critical indicators that you should see a dentist as soon as possible.
Looking for a dentist in the Jacksonville, Florida area? Look no further! With convenient locations in Jacksonville, St. Johns and St. Augustine, Harbour Dental Care is the top choice for family-friendly, top-quality dental care in northeast Florida. Click here to schedule your visit today and discover why we are the top-rated dentist in Jacksonville!