• Dr. Rishika Sahay

All About Bleeding Gums

Updated: May 13, 2020

Did you know bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease?

Bleeding gums are extremely common but a symptom that shouldn’t be ignored. If your gums are bleeding, it needs your attention as this is not how your gums are normally supposed to function.

Other than bleeding gums there are several other symptoms that cannot be spotted as easily as blood. Which is why it’s important to know how healthy gums look and work in comparison with diseased gums (Gingivitis, that's what dentists call it)

  1. Pink in color.

  2. Forming a C around the neck of your tooth.

  3. Firmly attached to your tooth, not lose.

  4. No bleeding.

  5. No foul smell.

Symptoms of Gum Disease apart from Bleeding Gums?

1. Red or purple colored gums

2. Foul smell from mouth

3. Mobile teeth

4. Receding level of your gums

There can be a number of reasons why your gums bleed. Let’s start with the most common and neglected one, PLAQUE.

1. The food debris and dirt which remain stuck to your teeth because of any reason tend to stay there between your teeth and gums for a very long time leading to inflammation and bleeding.

2. Brushing your teeth very harshly not only affects your teeth but also your gums and can damage them causing your gum to bleed.

3. If you are taking medications like blood thinners (Like Aspirin), they prevent your blood from clotting easily. This is why people who are taking these medications are more prone to bleeding gums.

4. During pregnancy, your body releases certain hormones in excess, which is also a reason behind excessive gum bleeding.

5. Smoking not only affects your respiratory organs but is also a huge reason behind serious gum diseases. Smokers tend to experience less bleeding comparatively, but the underlying gum disease is constantly progressing. It just masks the initial signs of the disease. So, by the time you realize that you have gum disease, you have probably reached more advanced stages.

6. I’ve already mentioned how carbohydrates are bacteria’s favorite food and can cause cavities, it’s the same for bacteria associated with gum disease as well. So, what you eat matters here as well.

7. People with vitamin deficiency also tend to experience bleeding gums. Usually, vitamin C and vitamin K are majorly associated with your gums.

How to Stop Bleeding Gums?

  1. The most important step, of course, is Brushing your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes.

  2. Flossing your teeth regularly and cleaning the areas between two teeth.

  3. If you have spacing between your teeth, you can use an interdental toothbrush instead of floss.

  4. Gargle every day with salt and warm water, it helps reduce inflammation and prevents bleeding.

  5. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush.

  6. Use an electric toothbrush. These toothbrushes have been designed to clean your teeth in specific motions suggested by dentists. So, if you cannot invest time and patience to clean your teeth twice daily using a correct method, you better switch to an electric toothbrush.

  7. Change your toothbrush every 3 months, or whenever the bristles cannot provide effective cleaning.

  8. Diet plays a very important role, you should consider having a healthy diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, especially Vitamin C and K for your gums. Sources of these vitamins can be orange, guavas, chili peppers, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, other green leafy vegetables, etc.

  9. Visit your dentist and get your teeth cleaned at least once a year.

  10. Use mouthwash containing chlorhexidine. Avoid using very harsh antibacterial mouthwashes. It only worsens your gum disease by flushing out the good bacteria along with the bad ones.

Gum bleeding most commonly is a result of inflammation. To maintain good gum health, you need to focus on controlling plaque primarily. If you can control that, it’s very difficult for all the other above-mentioned factors to cause you any gum disease.

They can play a very good role in the progression or accelerating your disease, but the most important and primary cause is UNCLEAN TEETH.

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