Bleeding gums are fairly common, with most people experiencing it at least once during their lifetime. However, it’s an often overlooked symptom that may lead to other conditions.
Several factors contribute to bleeding gums. Let’s learn why gums bleed and ways to stop bleeding gums.
Bleeding Gums: Causes
Gums bleed for various reasons, like:
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It occurs when a combination of bacteria and food debris called plaque accumulates on the gum line for too long.
Good oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing remove plaque. Otherwise, plaque hardens into tartar, which irritates the gums and make them swell and bleed.
Leaving gingivitis untreated can lead to periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease. This infection affects the gums, jawbone, and supportive tissues connecting your gums and teeth. It also loosens teeth and causes them to fall out.
Incorrect Oral Care Techniques
Brushing too vigorously, using a toothbrush with stiff bristles, or incorrect flossing techniques can make your gums bleed. Incorrect techniques can damage gums without sufficiently cleaning your teeth, which may result in gum disease and other oral health issues.
Illnesses like leukemia, thrombocytopenia, and hemophilia, cause problems with blood clotting. Leukemia and thrombocytopenia are conditions that result in a low platelet count. Hemophilia is a condition where you don’t have enough levels of clotting factors to form a clot and stop the bleeding.
Vitamin C and K strengthen your teeth and bones and are important in tissue growth and repair and blood clotting. Not getting enough of these vitamins can lead to bleeding gums.
A severe shortage of Vitamin C is called scurvy. It’s rare but can lead to weakness, anemia, and bleeding under your skin and gums.
If you experience bleeding gums that are not due to poor oral health, consult your doctor about checking your vitamin levels.
The high sugar levels in diabetes can slow healing and weaken the body’s ability to combat infections. It can make a person more susceptible to gum disease and exacerbate its symptoms.
Tight-fitting dentures can make your gums bleed. Pregnant women have more sensitive gums prone to bleeding because of the hormonal changes they’re experiencing.
Brushing too hard with a hard-bristled toothbrush can also make your gums bleed.
Blood-thinning medications like aspirin, warfarin, and heparin can also cause frequent gum bleeding. They also lead to a dry mouth, which increases the risk of harmful bacteria buildup on the teeth and gums and contributes to gum disease.
Bleeding Gums: Treatment
Once you know why your gums are bleeding, it’s time to stop it. Depending on the cause, here are some ways to stop bleeding gums.
Practice oral hygiene regularly.
Maintaining regular oral hygiene prevents gum bleeding caused by gum disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once daily. Consistent oral hygiene is especially crucial for pregnant women since they have sensitive gums and a higher risk of gum disease.
Adding fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to your oral hygiene may also help.
Rinse your mouth with diluted hydrogen peroxide.
You can use diluted hydrogen peroxide to disinfect your mouth, whiten teeth, remove plaque, and alleviate bleeding. It also reduces inflammation caused by gum disease.
Use it after brushing your teeth, but be careful not to swallow it.
Smoking is a dangerous habit that increases the risk of various diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking is also a major cause of gum disease. It weakens your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off plaque and infections.
Stopping smoking helps heal your gums and prevent them from bleeding. Consult your dentist or doctor to learn the most effective ways to quit smoking.
Reduce your stress.
Stress can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight gum infections. In addition, some people may neglect their oral hygiene when they’re stressed, leading to plaque buildup.
Improve your mental and emotional health by practicing stress-reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, exercise, and other relaxing activities.
Consume a healthy diet.
A healthy and balanced diet is essential to provide the nutrients your body needs to heal and maintain healthy teeth, gums, and bones. It also helps prevent vitamin deficiencies that can make your gums bleed.
Visit your dentist.
Visiting your dentist also helps when your gums bleed. Aside from checking if an underlying dental condition is causing your gums to bleed, they can also remove plaque and teach you correct and safe brushing techniques.
Home Remedies for Bleeding Gums
Some effective treatments for bleeding gums can also come from affordable and natural household ingredients. Keep the following items on hand for when your gums bleed:
Massaging honey on your gums with your fingertips is an effective and natural way to treat bleeding gums. Honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that eliminate bacteria contributing to gum disease.
Drinking cranberry juice everyday can help keep your teeth and gums bacteria-free. It’s rich in phenolic acids and anthocyanins, powerful anti-microbial agents. However, be sure to choose the unsweetened type to avoid added sugars.
A saltwater rinse is a simple and affordable home remedy for bleeding gums. Aside from being a common kitchen ingredient, salt has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate gum inflammation and kill bacteria. To use this remedy, warm up some water and use it to dissolve the salt. Rinse your mouth with the solution at least two to three times a day for the best results.
While it’s common for people to experience bleeding gums at some point in their lives, you shouldn’t ignore them. They could indicate underlying dental or medical conditions, so identifying and addressing their root cause is paramount.
Some causes of gum bleeding include gum disease, incorrect oral care techniques, bleeding disorders, vitamin deficiencies, and more. You can prevent or stop it by practicing good oral hygiene, using diluted hydrogen peroxide, reducing stress, quitting smoking, consuming a healthy diet, and visiting your dentist. Natural remedies like cranberry juice, honey, and saltwater rinses can also help.
Put a stop to gum bleeding today.
If you’re still unsure why your gums are bleeding, it’s time to visit a dentist. Aside from pinpointing the cause of your bleeding gums, our dentists near Pagosa Springs, CO, also provide teeth cleaning and preventative services to keep your oral health in shape.
Take the first step to healthy gums and teeth. Call Sunrise Dentistry today.