No one likes to find out their gums are bleeding when they go to brush their teeth. There are surprisingly a lot of causes for bleeding gums. Not all of them are related to gum disease or not cleaning often enough. Hopefully, these common causes and solutions will put your mind at ease and help to stop bleeding gums.
Bleeding Gums Top Causes
The number one cause of bleeding gums is the gum disease Gingivitis. This is primarily caused by bad dental hygiene. The gums start to bleed when the buildup of plaque on your teeth start to irritate and inflame the gums. This is why it is super important to brush your teeth at least twice a day. If left untreated, Gingivitis can turn to Peridontitis. This is a long term gum disease that can lead to the gums retracting back away from the teeth and the teeth loosening. If this isn’t taken care of, it will lead to losing teeth, and no one wants that.
Brushing too hard or toothbrush bristles too hard
Another common cause of bleeding gums is simply not having the right toothbrush or applying too much pressure while brushing your teeth. Not all toothbrushes are equal. Some have hard-bristled brushes, and some have soft-bristled brushes. If you are using a hard-bristled toothbrush and you are experiencing bleeding gums, try switching to a softer brush. Also, make sure you are not pressing down too hard on your teeth and gums while you are brushing since it can cause damage and bleeding. Another thing to consider is how long you have been using your current toothbrush. If you are not replacing your toothbrush often enough, the bristles will weaken and can cause the same bleeding. Make sure you are replacing your toothbrush once every three months or so.
Starting a new flossing routine
If you have not been properly flossing, your gums may bleed at first when you start. This is especially noticeable if you already have Gingivitis, since the gums are already inflamed.
Don’t let it discourage you from flossing as it’s much healthier for you once the gums begin to heal. Just keep it up and allow time for your gums to adjust.
Certain medications such as blood thinners
Some medications can cause your gums to bleed abnormally. Medications that are anticoagulants such as aspirin or blood thinner medications can make your gums bleed more if you are already experiencing gum disease. Some High blood pressure medications have been found to cause tenderness in the gums that can also lead to minor bleeding while brushing. If it is becoming a problem, then consult with your doctor.
Pregnancy Gingivitis and Hormonal
Another surprising cause of bleeding gums is the onset of Gingivitis caused by pregnancy and hormones. This is caused by hormonal changes which sends more blood to the gums, causing bleeding. It makes the gums swell, and they can be sensitive as well.
The hormonal changes affect the body’s response to bacteria as well and can lead to periodontal disease if daily oral hygiene is not kept up. It seems to peak around the second trimester. It may be best to switch to a softer toothbrush to prevent irritation and have at least one dental check-up during the pregnancy. After the pregnancy, the gums should return to normal with daily hygiene.
Ways to Stop Bleeding Gums
Practice good oral hygiene
The first defense against bleeding gums is to practice good oral hygiene. It’s recommended by most dentists to brush your teeth twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes. You should also floss at least once every day and swish with an antibacterial mouthwash if possible. This type of dental regiment will keep plaque from building up to reduce the likelihood of developing gum disease. You should also pay your dentist a visit at least once a year for a check-up and thorough cleaning to cut down plaque in the harder to reach places.
Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater
One way to help bleeding gums is to swish with a warm saltwater mixture. This can be created by mixing half a teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of lukewarm water. Swish the mixture around and then spit it out. This helps kill bacteria in your mouth that can cause gum disease and inflammation. You should repeat this several times a day until the bleeding stops.
On top of other health problems caused by smoking, such as lung disease and cancer, it is also a leading cause of severe gum disease. Smoking causes your immune system to weaken, making it easier to get gum disease and harder to get rid of it. Once you have a gum disease, smoke makes it harder for the tissue of your gums to heal as well.
Increase the intake of vitamin C and vitamin K
Having a good healthy balanced diet (for example, such as healthy Mediterranean food) is a good way to prevent the common causes of bleeding around your gums. Two key vitamins to focus on are vitamin C, and vitamin K. Vitamin C is important to maintaining a healthy immune system. This helps prevent the gum disease from ever happening and helps promote healing if you already have it. This commonly comes from food sources such as citric fruits, peppers, and carrots (read how to chop vegetable fast here).
Vitamin K has been linked to the body’s ability to form blood clots. If you have a deficiency in this vitamin, it can affect blood clot formation and cause you to bleed around your gums more than average. You can increase your body’s Vitamin K by eating more leafy green vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, or kale.
As you can see, there are a number of causes for bleeding gums and several ways you can prevent it from happening. Healthy daily hygiene habits and a good diet are key to making it better. Hopefully, this information has put your mind at ease and given you some options for stopping bleeding gums if they are a cause for concern.