About Bleeding Gums
Seeing blood in your bathroom sink can be scary, and you have every right to be concerned and curious to know possible reasons. While aggressive brushing or careless flossing may be the reason for your occasional bleeding gums, ongoing bleeding gums can indicate more serious underlying issues.
Why do gums bleed?
Common causes of bleeding gums
The most common reasons for your bleeding gums can include:
- Vigorous brushing
- Improper flossing
- A hard-bristled toothbrush
- Poor oral hygiene
- Plaque buildup
- Gingivitis (inflammation of gums)
- Pregnancy gingivitis
- Brushing with old toothbrushes that can no longer be effective for cleaning your teeth
- Certain medications like blood thinners, aspirin, or ibuprofen
- Vitamin K or C deficiency
- Ill-fitting dental restorations like dentures that do not fit properly and are hurting your gums
- Having Leukemia (blood cancer), Anemia, HIV infection, gum cancer, Hemophilia
Bleeding gums can be an early sign of unhealthy gums. Typically, bleeding gums are associated with gum disease, especially if bleeding gums are accompanied by gum inflammation and soreness, which needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Treatment for bleeding gums
Patients with bleeding gums often ask how they can stop the bleeding gums. The best course of action for treating bleeding gums is determined by recognizing the primary cause. Make sure you visit your dentist promptly to identify and eliminate the root cause of the problem. The following tips may help stop your bleeding gums; if, on the other hand, you do not see any improvement within 7 to 10 days, visit your dentist to seek professional advice.
Visit your dentist regularly for preventive care
Scheduling regular dental checkups with your dental expert will benefit you greatly. Your dentist can spot any early signs of dental problems and take action before the problem causes more oral health concerns.
Practice good oral hygiene
- brush your teeth at least twice daily
- make sure you are brushing your teeth using an effective technique of brushing
- floss at least once a day (be gentle while flossing)
- use fluoride toothpaste
- use antiseptic mouthwashes
- use soft-bristled toothbrushes
Smoking is a contributing factor for oral health diseases such as gum disease. Besides, smoking lowers your body’s immune system and makes it a challenge to fight bacteria and infection.
Follow a healthy diet
Limiting your intake of sugary, starchy, and processed foods and increasing your intake of food rich in vitamin K and C instead may help stop your gums from bleeding. Eating foods rich in sugar or starch can lead to gum inflammation or gingivitis, which can cause bleeding gums.
Consider professional teeth cleaning
Gum bleeding may result from gum inflammation caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar around the teeth and below the gum line. A professional deep cleaning might be the solution to remove plaque and tartar and stop your gums from bleeding.
Rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide can help with plaque removal. Hydrogen peroxide is considered a disinfectant and can help prevent the bacteria from further spreading and causing dental problems such as bleeding gums.
Attention: Avoid swallowing the solution.
A mixture of warm salt water can reduce bacteria from growing in the mouth. Rinsing regularly with this age-old remedy will help keep your mouth clean, reduce the chance of infection, relieve gum inflammation, and minimize gum bleeding.
Should I stop brushing and flossing if my gums bleed?
Definitely not! Since bleeding gums may be a warning sign of improper dental hygiene and probably plaque buildup around your teeth, you need to better care of your oral hygiene. Therefore, brushing and flossing should not be ignored even if you are experiencing bleeding gums. Arrange a visit to your dentist’s office to treat your bleeding gums as soon as possible.
What happens if you don't treat bleeding gums?
Because bleeding gums may indicate periodontal disease, you must see a dentist and get it under control. If left untreated, periodontal disease that might be the reason for your bleeding gums may lead to other health issues, including diabetes, premature birth, and even heart disease.
How long does it take for gums to stop bleeding?
If you have recently started flossing or have changed your oral hygiene habits, your gums may bleed because they are not used to the changes yet. You do not need to panic because the bleeding should usually go away within 3 to 10 days. However, if the bleeding does not stop, the root cause of your gum bleeding might be gum disease or some other health problems; you are highly advised to make an appointment with a periodontist to take care of the issue.
Patients tend to ask if pregnancy gingivitis can be treated or if pregnancy gingivitis does go away. It is estimated that almost 50 to 70% of pregnant women experience gingivitis. Hormonal changes during this critical time put women’s bodies at a higher risk of pregnancy gingivitis. If the pregnant woman already has gingivitis, pregnancy may worsen the condition.
If you already have gum inflammation (gingivitis) or any other dental problems, like an untreated cavity or tooth decay, and decide to get pregnant, seek treatment at first to avoid unnecessary complications for your health and your baby’s health. The signs of pregnancy gingivitis are not very different from gingivitis outside pregnancy. Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis may include:
- sore and sensitive gums
- swollen and red gums
- bleeding gums
Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis may decrease after your child’s birth. However, the situation will still need oral care by a dental expert to prevent the disease from turning into Periodontitis.
Why do women get pregnancy gingivitis?
Maintaining strong oral health is highly recommended during pregnancy. Due to an increased level of hormones, a pregnant woman’s body will have an increased response to plaque bacteria. Accumulation of plaque bacteria will cause your gums to be sore, inflamed, and bleed while flossing or brushing. There seems to be an elevated risk of premature birth and low-birth-weight babies in women suffering from pregnancy gingivitis.
Some tips for dealing with gum disease during pregnancy
- Make sure you brush your teeth twice every day.
- Make sure you are removing plaque thoroughly.
- Visit your dentist regularly to seek advice.
- Treat any cavities or tooth decay.
- Avoid smoking.
Book an appointment with your dental professional or dentists in Brisbane to evaluate your oral health and do necessary preventive care if you are pregnant or decide to get pregnant.