What Causes Bleeding Gums?
Even though there are various causes for bleeding gums, the primary cause is gum disease. If you notice that your gums are slightly swollen or are changing in color from their natural pink to a deeper red, you need to monitor their condition. You might also see a pinch of blood on your toothbrush or in the sink after brushing your teeth. There are a few steps you can introduce at home to address your bleeding gums, but if it continues more than a week it is in your best interest to schedule an evaluation with your dentist. The checkup will identify if gum disease is the source. To combat and reverse gum disease, you will need the professional assistance of your dentist.
Addressing Bleeding Gums at Home
Here are a few steps to try at home to stymie your bleeding gums:
- Double check that you are using a soft bristle toothbrush
- Making sure you are not too aggressive when brushing
- Flossing gently and properly every day
- Rinsing your mouth with salt water
- Introduce an antibacterial mouthwash
- Using a damp gauze
- Applying a cold compress on your cheek
- Avoid smoking
- Focus on a diet without any processed foods
The Different Causes for Your Bleeding Gums
There are a variety of reasons your gums are bleeding, with the primary cause being that of gum disease. Here is a list of other suggested factors:
- Not brushing your teeth at least twice a day is allowing damaging plaque to buildup on your teeth.
- By brushing too aggressively or using a toothbrush that is too stiff or hard will damage the gums.
- A worn-out toothbrush will not clean your teeth effectively.
- Flossing too vigorously, instead of gently pushing it down and hugging the sides of each tooth.
- Certain medicines, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or blood thinners, will accelerate any gum bleeding.
- A pregnancy and hormonal changes.
- Poor eating habits with too much processed foods.
- A vitamin deficiency, such as vitamin C or K.
- Dealing with diabetes.
- Loose or poorly fitting dentures.
- The lack of clotting cells, or platelets.
- Most importantly, having gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease.
Professional Dental Treatment for Bleeding Gums
The best way to immediately and quickly address your bleeding gums is to schedule an appointment with your dentist. A thorough examination with x-rays will identify and confirm the cause. In most situations, it ends up being gum disease. It is a quite common affliction. Over half of all American adults over the age of thirty have some level of gum disease.
If gum disease is confirmed as the cause of your bleeding gums, your dentist will perform a professional teeth cleaning. This effort will remove all the plaque and tarter from your teeth with either a handheld scaler or a vibrating ultrasonic device. The plaque carries the bacteria that infect the gums. By removing the source of the infection, the gums will quickly heal naturally, or an antibiotic may be added.
After your cleaning you will be advised to develop a daily oral hygiene practice, which begins with brushing twice a day and flossing once. You should then compliment your efforts with a checkup every six months, which will always include teeth cleaning. By exercising these preventative measures, you can abate gum disease in your future.