The presence of blood in your sink or on your toothbrush after you’ve just brushed your teeth is not something that should be ignored. Your gums may bleed occasionally due to hard foods damaging them, but if the bleeding is frequent and persistent, it may be due to a more serious cause.
Keep on reading to discover the six most common causes of bleeding gums and how they can be treated.
1. You have gingivitis
After the dental plaque and cavity-causing bacteria accumulate in your mouth, your gum line can get inflamed. This can lead to gingivitis, a gum infection that is quite hard to spot unless your gums bleed when you brush or floss. Because gingivitis is practically symptom-free, it typically stays untreated and develops into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that can result in bone deterioration and tooth loss. Fortunately, gingivitis can be easily prevented and stopped with thorough dental hygiene and routine dental appointments and cleanings.
2. You’re a female
The hormonal imbalance that occurs during periods and pregnancy can increase your odds of developing bleeding gums. Most women deal with recurrent hormonal gingivitis linked to their menstrual cycle. Pregnant women have a higher risk of different dental problems, including tooth decay, loose teeth, and gum disease, with the last one typically occurring between the second and eight months. If you suspect that hormone fluctuations may be the cause of your bleeding gums, consider undergoing a hormone test to check out your hormone levels.
3. You smoke
Smoking can significantly increase your risk of having bleeding gums. Tobacco smoke can coat your teeth with dissolving toxins that can be very hard to remove with brushing. These dangerous toxins can cause your gums to become irritated and bleed. Those who smoke can also have a weakened immune system, compromised natural tissue healing, and not enough oxygen in their bloodstream. All of these issues can be detrimental to your gum line. Consider quitting smoking to preserve your dental and overall health.
4. You have malnutrition
If you don’t consume the recommended everyday intake of fresh fruits and veggies, dairy products, grains, and proteins, you’re running a risk of developing bleeding gums. A healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition are essential not only for a healthy body but also for a healthy mouth. Also, consider eating more teeth-healthy foods like fatty fish, nuts, beef, chicken, and broccoli to help preserve your dental health.
5. You’re on specific medications
Ever thought about why your dental specialist asks if you’re taking any new medicines? Certain prescription medicines can increase your chances of having bleeding gums. Anticonvulsants like Dilantin can cause your gums to become abnormally swollen. Specific blood pressure drugs and immunosuppressants can trigger gum inflammation and gum bleeding. Specific sedatives, antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and antihistamines can cause your mouth to dry out. Dry mouth is another common cause of various gum issues. A proper amount of saliva is essential to remove food residue from your mouth and neutralize gum-dissolving acid created by dangerous bacteria. If your salivary flow has decreased, try practicing proper dental hygiene and using artificial saliva substitutes.
6. You have bad dental habits
Overbrushing, poor brushing, and not flossing can also lead to the occurrence of various dental problems, including swollen and bleeding gums, gum recession, and tooth decay. Besides, using a hard-bristled toothbrush can result in traumatized gums. Instead, consider using a soft-bristled version that is more gentle when cleaning your teeth and gums.
The bottom line
If you have bleeding gums, consider quitting smoking, and check your hormone level to determine whether the hormonal imbalance is the culprit or not. Besides, make following proper dental hygiene and visiting a dental checkup your main priority.