Have you ever noticed blood coming out of your gums while brushing your teeth or after taking a bite out of an apple? If you are wondering whether you should be concerned about it, the answer is yes.
It might be a negligible amount of blood, and there may be no pain at all. However, it would be best if you did not ignore or trivialise it. Bleeding gums may be a symptom indicating gum disease or other medical condition.
Is it normal for gums to bleed?
One of the most prevalent and perilous myths about dental health is that bleeding gums are normal. Regardless of what you may have heard, your gums should not be bleeding.
Occasionally your gums may bleed if you are brushing too hard or if your dentures don’t fit properly. However, if the bleeding is frequent, it may be due to conditions like gingivitis, vitamin deficiency, periodontitis, or even leukaemia.
But don’t stop brushing.
Although brushing vigorously or using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can cause gum bleeding, it is essential not to stop brushing. This is because it will lead to plaque build-up on your gums. In reality, not brushing your teeth is the most probable reason behind your bleeding gums.
What you should do is try to brush your teeth gently and use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Changing your tooth brushing technique will yield positive results. It would be actually best if you also flossed appropriately at least once every day. This will help you remove minute hard-to-reach particles in your mouth, which results in bacteria responsible for gum disease.
What if you ignore bleeding gums?
If your gums are bleeding, it’s most likely because of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease- a reversible condition. The primary cause of gingivitis is plaque- a white film containing bacteria that coats your teeth.
While gingivitis is easily treatable if left unattended, the condition may worsen. The plaque may harden on your teeth to form dental calculus, which destroys the gum tissues and cause periodontitis, a more severe and irreversible gum disease.
It could lead to dental pain.
Periodontitis may cause tooth loss, giving rise to a new array of dental problems until you look into the replacement of missing teeth. It may also cause bad breath, for which you may have to take halitosis treatment. Apart from this, periodontitis, if left untreated, may make you vulnerable to heart diseases and a horde of other medical conditions.
What causes bleeding of gums?
The primary cause of gum bleeding is dental health issues resulting from a poor oral care routine. The following are the most commonly occurring causes of bleeding gums.
When debris and remnants of food particles accumulate on your teeth, harmful bacteria start feeding on them, resulting in plaque formation.
When plaque remains on your gum lines for a long time for not brushing or flossing correctly, it can harden to form tartar or dental calculus, which increases the bleeding.
The most common symptoms of gingivitis are inflammation of gums, soreness in the mouth or near the gums, and bleeding gums.
Periodontitis or Periodontal disease is an acute dental condition that occurs when gingivitis aggravates or becomes advanced due to lack of treatment.
Periodontitis is an infection that harms the gums, jawbone, and supportive tissues connecting your gums and teeth. Periodontitis may cause loss of teeth due to loosening. It is a chronic disease that implies that it gradually develops, continually worsening the condition.
It is a severe dental condition that requires the intervention of a specialised periodontist and, if left untreated, can lead to other medical conditions, including heart diseases.
Vitamin C and K deficiency:
If you suffer from a deficiency of vitamin C and vitamin K in your diet, your gums may be prone to bleeding very quickly despite sufficient dental care.
You could ask your doctor to check the levels of vitamins C and K in your body. If you find out that you are running low on these vitamins, you should follow a diet that contains ample amounts of both nutrients to ensure that your gums are healthy.
Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and their juices, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers. You could consist of spinach, kale, lettuce, mustard, soybeans, and olive oil in your diet to increase the intake of vitamin K.
Bleeding gums can also happen due to a flawed tooth brushing technique or wearing dentures that fit too tightly. It could also be due to poorly placed teeth veneers. You should consult your dentist or orthodontist if your gums are bleeding due to oral appliances.
Hormonal changes and other alterations that occur during pregnancy can also cause the gums to become extremely sensitive, which leads to bleeding under certain circumstances.
Bleeding disorders like haemophilia and leukaemia can also cause the bleeding of gums. Moreover, your gums may also bleed if you take blood-thinning medicines like aspirin, warfarin, and heparin.
How to stop bleeding gums?
Identifying the cause of gum bleeding is decisive to determine the most appropriate treatment. When you come to know about the cause of the bleeding, you may try the following solutions for gum bleeding.
Maintain good dental hygiene:
Bleeding gums are a ubiquitous sign of poor oral hygiene. To improve dental hygiene, you should brush every day at least twice and floss once daily. This will really prevent the formation of plaque which causes gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Along with causing cancer, lung diseases, heart diseases, and stroke, smoking also results in poor gum health. In fact, smoking is one of the most significant causes of acute gum diseases. Smoking also reduces the ability of your body’s immune system, which makes it even harder for your body to fight plaque bacteria. Quitting smoking is advisable if you are suffering from bleeding gums.
Increase intake of Vitamins C and K:
Including food rich in vitamin C and vitamin K can strengthen your immune system and improve your gum health at the same time. Consume foods like oranges, sweet potatoes, red peppers, and carrots for vitamin C and eat vitamin K rich foods like spinach, kale, and mustard greens to alleviate bleeding gums.
Rinse your mouth with saltwater:
Rinsing your mouth regularly with a mixture of warm water and salt helps reduce bacterial presence in your mouth, which causes bleeding gums. You could add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth for approximately a minute a few times a day.
Bleeding gums could indicate poor oral hygiene standards, faulty dental care techniques, dental diseases, or other medical conditions. Thus it would be best if you did not ignore it. It is always advisable to visit a dentist or orthodontist for specialised attention. You may require a thorough dental cleaning to improve your gum health before things worsen.