Even if you brush your teeth regularly you might see an occasional few drops of blood as you bite into something hard or mixed with your saliva when you spit, while brushing your teeth. Bleeding gums can be quite a nuisance. As they usually don’t hurt this doesn’t mean you can just ignore them. Bleeding gums are often a cardinal sign of gum disease or some other health related problem.
Bleeding gums should not be taken lightly. Let’s look at it this way, what if your scalp starts to bleed when you are brushing your hair. Will you take it lightly? Bleeding gums are not considered normal even if you get them cleaned professionally. If your gums bleed from time to time, this means you have a periodontal disease, known as gum disease. This can create havoc to your oral health. It can erode your gums, weaken the jaw bones and even lead to tooth loss.
What you need to understand is that bleeding gums are actually a two-front disease. It starts with a bio-film of plaque gathering on your teeth, which is a contagious bacterium. This bacteria start to cause irritation on your gum tissue. This irritated or wounded tissue reacts, which is your body’s natural reaction against any infection and your gums bleed. Along with something happening inside your body, you are swallowing this bacterium every time you eat something or even swallow your saliva. If a gum disease is not dealt with early on, it can lead to bad breath, mouth ulcers, and ulcers of the stomach, allergies and even cancer.
- About 80% of adult Americans have had gum disease at some stage of their life.
- Sadly, hardly 10% are aware of it and take measures to deal with it.
- Telltale symptoms of gum disease don’t show until the disease reaches mid-to-late stage
- The good news is bleeding gums can be taken care of by changing some lifestyle habits.
Here are 10 reasons why your gums are bleeding, and what can you do to prevent them.
10. Poor Oral Hygiene
The number one reason for bleeding gums is that your oral hygiene routine is subpar. Inadequate oral hygiene routine causes plaque and tartar to build up on your teeth. This leads to inflamed and irritated gums. A lot of people don’t brush and floss regularly and properly. Tartar buildup is more common among tobacco users or those who have a very high caffeine intake. According to dentists swollen gums can develop in 24 to 36 hours if oral tissue is not taken care of. To prevent this, a commitment to at home oral hygiene, which includes flossing after eating and brushing at least twice a day is your best bet against bleeding gums. Regular oral checkups, no matter how much we dread them also go hand in hand.
- Invest in an eclectic toothbrush. This massages your gums and help release toxins and brings nutrients to the tissue.
- Follow up with antibacterial mouthwashes
- Floss regularly, you can even consider a water pick for the purpose which reaches in all corners of your mouth.
- Oral probiotic mints not only whiten your teeth but also help in getting rid of the bacteria in your mouth.
9. You Are Not A Healthy Eater
If your diet is in the dumps you are ruining more than just your waistline. A nutritionally poor diet which does not have balanced portions of fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy and grains can badly affect your gums. A balanced diet is pivotal for good oral health. Just like the rest of your body your teeth and gums require calcium and vitamin D to remain healthy. You might have heard of the miracle food for your gums, but trust me there is no miracle here which your tooth brush and good diet cannot do.
- Your diet must contain at least six to eight fist size servings of fruits and vegetables.
- You must also include other nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin C & D and folate in your diet.
- Anti-inflammatory such as fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids are also critical for maintaining your health.
- Consuming a well nutritional diet boosts your over all immune system and that goes for immunity of your gums as well.
- We all know eating too much sugar will rot your teeth, the reason here is simple carbohydrates lower your immunity and affect your teeth just like the rest of your body.
8. Crooked Teeth
If your teeth are crooked and mal-positioned you should not take it lightly. Such teeth are very difficult to clean and food deposits often end up getting stuck in spaces where your brush can’t reach. The stuck food particles rot and give birth to bacteria. This leads to bad breath and all sorts of gum and teeth diseases. Having straight teeth is not just about having a beautiful smile, but they are very important for good oral health. Misaligned teeth also interfere in proper biting and chewing and you deliberately put more pressure on your gums.
- Incomplete plaque removal leads to gum diseases
- Facially displaced teeth can cause gums around them to recede
- As excess force is applied on the teeth every time you bite, it leads to traumatic occlusion which damages the bed of your teeth or tooth.
- If you have misaligned teeth, you should be visiting a dentist regularly for professional cleaning.
“Bleeding gums should not be taken lightly. Let’s look at it this way, what if your scalp starts to bleed when you are brushing your hair. Will you take it lightly? Bleeding gums are not considered normal even if you get them cleaned professionally.”
7. Nutritional Deficiencies
Nutritional deficiencies especially that of vitamins C and K may cause your teeth to rot and gums to recede. These two vitamins play a major role in your oral health. Deficiency of vitamin C leads to painful, swollen gums which can bleed easily. Vitamin K plays an important role in clotting our blood in case of an injury or wound. If there is lack of vitamin K, any inflammation or injury in any part of the body takes much longer to heal. Poor diet is just one factor which leads to deficiencies of these vitamins.
- Micro flora or the bacteria in our gut are main source of vitamin K in our body. If you have been on antibiotics for prolonged periods, or had to take any medicine related to ulcers there is a possibility that you might be low on vitamin K.
- Vegetables from the cruciferous family such as spinach, kale, lettuce and broccoli are your best sources of vitamin K.
- Vitamin C is found in fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lime, pineapples and strawberries.
- It is recommended that you have at least five hands full of vegetables and fruits in your diet.
- If you have just recovered from an illness or suffered from scurvy or any such disease, it is a good idea to start taking a multivitamin supplement.
6. Do You Smoke?
If you still haven’t kicked the butt, here is just another reason to do so right now! There are many toxins in cigarettes; these lower your body’s immunity. Your gums and your teeth are the first to get exposed to these. An overall lowered immunity and deposits of these toxins directly on the teeth lead to periodontal gum disease. Chain smokers are also at a risk of developing fibrous and enlarged gums. As the gums enlarge tooth become loose at the base. This allows bacteria to seep in more easily into the gum lining.
- Large amount of toxins cause your blood to oxygenate and slows down healing process by lowering your immunity.
- Often smokers have a dry mouth, less saliva in your mouth leads to your teeth and gums becoming more sensitive.
- This seeping in of bacteria is particularly harmful for the health of your heart and blood vessels.
- Ulcerated or enlarged gums can set up diseases and inflammation to other parts of the body too.
- If you are a smoker you should get toothpastes designed for smokers and visit the dentist more regularly than other people.
5. You Are Expecting
Are you expecting? Well, guess what those raging hormones just don’t give you mood swings, they can even be the cause of bleeding gums. Bleeding gums during pregnancy are actually very common. Half of the pregnant women suffer from gingivitis as they hit their second trimester. If you already have gum disease and become pregnant it is best that you visit your dentist at the earliest and also inform your gynecologist of the condition. Practicing good oral hygiene during pregnancy is even more important.
- Some women might even get bleeding gums during their monthly cycle due to the hormonal changes.
- Taking care of oral hygiene during pregnancy is very important as continuous bleeding can lead to anomalies like preeclampsia and even preterm births.
- If you think your hormonal changes are causing your bleeding gums, then you should speak to your dentist about how to alter your oral hygiene routine.
“A balanced diet is pivotal for good oral health. Just like the rest of your body your teeth and gums require calcium and vitamin D to remain healthy. You might have heard of the miracle food for your gums, but trust me there is no miracle here which your tooth brush and good diet cannot do.”
There is a possibility that your medications might be meddling with the health of your gums. This is especially true for people who are suffering from chronic diseases of some sort. Long term medications and sometimes uncontrolled diseases make your gums recede. Aspirin is given to patients with heart diseases and those at high risk of a stroke. Drugs given to patients with epilepsy, cancer, diabetes or those going through chemotherapy may all affect the health of your gums. These medicines often lead to gum tissues to enlarge and the tissue becomes more reactive to any plaque present on the teeth.
- Some of these medicines obstruct proper blood flow to your gum tissue and even impede production of saliva.
- This leads to dryness in mouth and throat and lower gum protection, which results in swollen bleeding gums.
- If you have been or are currently taking such medicines you should visit a dentist who will guide you about how to modify your daily oral routine to tackle these problems.
3. Liver Disease
Liver is a major organ in our body. It performs number of functions, and if it is effected it has severe effects on all parts of our body, including gums and teeth. A study done on patients suffering from cirrhosis showed that those who had a liver disease had high levels of gingival inflammation, tooth loss, retention of gums, decay in tooth and implants and even loss of attachments. This is all due to receding of the gum tissue. Fatty liver or cirrhosis lowers your immunity, increases the levels of toxins in your body, hinders in digestion and absorption of nutrients from the diet you consume. Mouth ulcers are also common among those suffering from the lung disease.
- Periodontal gum disease or occasional bleeding gums are directly related to liver disease.
- Consuming a diet rich in fats and carbohydrates often leads to liver disease.
- Alcohol is another major factor when it comes to diseases of the liver. The level of toxins in your body becomes so high that your liver can no longer process them.
- If you have liver disease of any sort, you must up your oral hygiene routine immediately.
“Deficiency of vitamin C leads to painful, swollen gums which can bleed easily. Vitamin K plays an important role in clotting our blood in case of an injury or wound. If there is lack of vitamin K, any inflammation or injury in any part of the body takes much longer to heal.”
2. Bleeding Disorders
Bleeding disorders occur when your blood cannot clot. Under normal circumstances in case of an injury your platelets form a gel like bond at the place of the injury and make the blood stick together. The proteins in your blood form a fibrin clot which holds the platelets in place. Although too much blood clots can lead to strokes and heart diseases, blood which is too thin and cannot form clots is very dangerous as well as it leads to excessive bleeding. Bleeding disorders are a result of low or abnormal platelets, low amounts of proteins or thinned blood vessels.
- Bleeding disorders can be both genetic and idiopathic.
- Some of these include: hemophilllia and Von Willebrand’s disease which are both on the rise.
- Bleeding gums and nose, easy bruising and excessive bleeding after an injury are some of the first signs of these diseases.
- Periodontal bleeding of the gums should therefore, never be ignored as these diseases first manifest through gums.
1. Family History
Unfortunately, your family history also plays an important part in your oral health. Yes, there is no getting away from those genes. People who have a family history of these periodontal gum diseases or discolored teeth have to work a little bit harder than other folks. Don’t think if you have family history of periodontal gum diseases your fate is sealed. The good news is that in the recent years there have been a lot of advancements in dental procedures. There is no need to go through painful procedures and recovering from anesthesia. Most of these corrective or plaque removal procedures can be done using laser.
- By going to an oral DNA lab, you can get spots on your teeth scrutinized and narrow down the different types of bacterial stains.
- This allows better managing and giving targeted treatments to those suffering.
- There is a wide variety of non-surgical, in-office laser treatments you can get done to save your gums if you have a family history of gum diseases.
Ways to Get Rid of Bleeding Gums Once & For All
We have told you, healthy gums don’t bleed. If you get periodontal gum disease, you need to see what the underlying cause is. Here are some other things you can do to ease your swollen gums.
- First of all, see if you have any health related issue or deficiency in your body. Visit a GP and get this cured.
- Invest in a good electric toothbrush, interdentally flossing device and an antibacterial mouth rinse.
- Keep a bottle of baking soda in your vanity. Once in a while use this along with your toothpaste when brushing your teeth. If you have very yellow teeth you might even use it daily.
- Apple cider vinegar rinse also helps in keeping the bacteria at bay. However, since it is acidic in nature it is a good idea to dilute it in water.
- Gargling with salt water also helps in soothing your gums and taking care of any bleeding.