Bleeding Gums Are a Sign That Dental Health Needs To Be Improved

For some people, brushing and flossing can be challenging and, in some instances, impossible. Some people will spit out blood when brushing or flossing or notice that their gums are actively bleeding. Bleeding gums should not be shrugged off as an everyday occurrence since they indicate a dental problem that needs immediate attention.

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Most people associate dental health with preventing dental cavities or halitosis (bad breath). However, dental health deals with all organs found in the mouth, gums included. In most cases, bleeding or swollen gums indicate gum disease. Numerous other factors can cause bleeding gums as well. Nutrition plays a major part in maintaining healthy gums and teeth, and everyone should endeavor to get a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

Gums are made up of soft vascular tissue and are therefore delicate organs. Some people use excessive force while brushing their teeth or use the wrong technique and end up damaging their gums. An inappropriate toothbrush will do more harm than good. Toothbrush bristles are of different types, and some, like the smoker's toothbrush, have extremely tough bristles. When buying a toothbrush, always consider whether the toothbrush is age-appropriate and whether the bristles are appropriate. An appropriate toothbrush for a non-smoker will have soft bristles with blunt edges.

As for technique, teeth should be brushed using gentle circular movements. Many people tend to use a back and forth movement and irritate their teeth and gums in the process. The flossing technique used is also essential. While flossing, instead of jamming the floss in-between the teeth, try instead to follow the tooth curvature and let the floss slide in naturally.

Gingivitis develops primarily due to poor oral hygiene. Failure to clean the mouth after meals lead to plaque buildup. Plaque is made up of food material and bacteria that stick on the teeth. When plaque stays on teeth for long periods, it hardens, forming tartar. Tartar can cause bleeding gums to increase severity, and plaque buildup around the gums may lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis will present with:

  • Puffy and/or bleeding gums
  • A sore mouth or soreness around the gums

Vitamins C and K are vital for strong and healthy gums. Both vitamins are involved in the formation of gum tissue; therefore, deficiencies will lead to structural inadequacies that may result in bleeding gums. A dentist will assess the vitamin levels in the blood for patients with bleeding gums that result from poor dental care.

Gum disease occurs mainly following severe gingivitis. Periodontitis not only affects the gums but may progress to affect the supporting tissue and jawbones too. Patients with severe periodontitis may have loose falling teeth in addition to bleeding gums.

People on some medicines, such as blood thinners, may experience bleeding gums. Some people may also suffer from bleeding disorders, including leukemia and hemophilia. Due to some hormonal changes and imbalances, pregnant women may experience bleeding gums since the gums get increased sensitivity. In some rare incidences, people wearing dentures and other orthodontic devices may experience bleeding or sore gums. The risk increases if the dentures fit too tightly. If a person with dentures gets bleeding gums, they should immediately contact their dentist to rectify the situation.

Correcting Bleeding Gums

Poor oral and dental hygiene can cause bleeding gums. Good oral hygiene entails:

  • Regular teeth brushing at least twice daily using a fluoride toothpaste and an appropriate toothbrush
  • Flossing at least once daily
  • Using a medicated mouthwash
  • Getting dental tooth cleaning at least twice every year

Due to hormonal fluctuations in pregnant women, proper oral hygiene becomes of utmost importance.

Smoking is linked to numerous conditions, including gum disease. Smoking lowers the body's immunity making the body more susceptible to bacterial infections, including gum disease from plaque.

Vitamin C is vital in strengthening gums. Foods such as oranges, lemons, carrots, sweet potatoes, and peppers are rich in vitamin c. Vitamin K helps in blood clotting. Green leafy vegetables are the best source of vitamin K.

People with bleeding gums should seek dental care if the condition does not improve within a week. The dentist may offer deep dental cleaning for plaque removal. Lab work may also be necessary to identify vitamin deficiencies.