Have you noticed red dots of blood when you spit after brushing your teeth? You may have bleeding gums.
Bleeding gums can be a sign of problems like gum disease, poor oral health or other general health problems. Some individuals are at a greater risk of having bleeding gums. One thing that we must understand is that normal and healthy gums never bleed even while biting an apple or brushing their teeth.
What Are The Possible Causes of Bleeding Gums?
Inflammation of gums is the most common cause of bleeding gums. The food debris combines with the oral bacteria to form a thin slimy layer, called plaque, over the teeth and gums. When we brush and floss, this plaque layer is removed but it may remain in areas that have not been cleaned properly and irritate the adjacent gums.
The plaque layer can harden to form tartar that cannot be removed through brushing of teeth. Both plaque and tartar can cause gingivitis and bleeding gums is the first sign of it. Other symptoms of gingivitis are swollen gums and soreness in gums.
When gingivitis is left unattended, it can progress to a severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis is the infection of the tooth- supporting tissues like gums, periodontal ligament and jaw bone. If periodontitis is not treated at the right time, it can result in wobbly teeth and tooth loss finally.
Deficiency of vitamins
Deficiency of Vitamin B12, Vitamin C and Vitamin K can put the gums at a higher risk of bleeding.
Injury from dentures
Tight dentures can be another reason for bleeding gums. Visit your dentist to get the sharp components of the denture polished. For a well-fitting denture., your dentist may need to create a new impression of your mouth.
Injury from overzealous brushing and flossing
Though brushing and flossing are quite necessary for a healthy mouth, wrong technique or incorrect kind of toothbrush can do more harm than good to your gums. Flossing vigorously can also cause injury to gums in the area between the teeth which in turn may cause bleeding.
Due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy, gums grow sensitive and can bleed easily.
Those with medical conditions like leukemia and hemophilia are more likely to have bleeding gums. Other systemic conditions like lupus erythematosus and erythema multiforme can also have bleeding gums as a common symptom.
If you have been prescribed blood-thinning medicines like aspirin, heparin or warfarin, you are more prone to have bleeding gums.
Dry Mouth Syndrome
This syndrome affects the elderly and is aggravated in those who smoke cigarettes and consume alcohol. A decrease in saliva causes a fall in the cleansing action of saliva, thereby, increasing the chances of irritation and bleeding of gums.
What Are The Ways of Managing Bleeding Gums?
Bleeding gums can be managed through steps such as:
- Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after every meal or at least twice daily.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid injury to the gums.
- If you are scared of applying too much force while brushing manually, you can shift to an electric toothbrush.
- While flossing, refrain from applying a lot of pressure. Pass the floss gently in between the teeth.
- Undergo a professional dental cleaning once every six months.
- Incorporate foods rich in Vitamin C (citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries) and Vitamin K (kale, lettuce, spinach) into your diet.
- You can use an antibacterial mouthwash after consulting your dentist.
- If you have dry mouth syndrome, you can use artificial saliva to keep your mouth moist and protect your gums from irritation.