Have you ever brushed your teeth then noticed that you’ve spit blood in the sink? Though you might have brushed it off as a normal occurrence, bleeding gums actually might be a sign of something serious going on within your mouth: gum disease.
Bleeding gums can be caused by several dental problems but it is a common result of a gum infection. However, because gum disease is usually painless at its beginning stages, most people ignore the signals. However, by not catching the disease early and curing the symptoms, you can end up with an advanced gum infection known as periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can affect the bones that support your teeth and cause your gums to recede and eventually lose teeth. Other symptoms that you may experience once periodontitis advances is inflammation in your gums, bad breath, and pus around your teeth and gums.
What are Some of the Cuases for Gum Disease?
The most common cause of bleeding gums is gum disease. However, there are rare instances where this is caused by other problems within the body. Some causes of bleeding gums are:
A Vitamin Deficiency
While bleeding gums is usually a sign that you have gum disease or aren’t brushing properly, it could also be an indicator that you are lacking an essential vitamin—Vitamin D. This vitamin is essential to maintaining a healthy and balanced gut microbiome and replacing bone tissue, which is essential for your teeth.
How do you get more vitamin D in your diet? You can consume fatty fish and foods that have added vitamin D, but that might not be enough. Consider adding a supplement to your diet. Also, a more natural way to get vitamin D is actually to go outside. Exposing your skin to ultraviolet B (UVB) for 20-30 minutes each day will gradually increase your levels.
If you have diabetes, you are more susceptible to infection and have a reduced ability to fight off germs that irritate the gums. Therefore, you may experience bleeding gums and gum irritation more often. It’s very important to control your blood glucose levels to ensure that you prevent gum infection.
Believe it or not, hormones can also influence problems with your oral health. Women might be more susceptible to these problems during changes in their life due to hormone fluctuations during pregnancy, menstruation, puberty or menopause. This is because hormones can increase the blood flow to gums and change the way that gum tissue reacts to plaque and other irritants. Therefore, you may experience more bleeding during these cycles.
If you notice that you are experiencing this problem, you contact a dentist like those at Arthur and Nicholson, a Family Dentistry in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina immediately to determine the cause of your bleeding gums.
How to Treat Bleeding Gums
Once you have been diagnosed with gum disease, your next step should be treating your gums. The best way to heal your gums is plaque removal through regular teeth cleanings with your dentist. By removing the plaque from your teeth, you prevent it from spreading below the gum line and advancing your periodontal disease.
How do you prevent bleeding gums? Here are some tips to help you keep your gums healthy and stop bleeding gums:
Use an Oral Irrigation Device
Commonly known as a “water pick,” an oral irrigation device is used as a water flosser to loosen trapped debris from your gums and in between teeth. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, be sure to look for an oral irrigation device with a tip that specifically targets deep gum pockets.
Brush Twice a Day
It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene to fight periodontal disease and prevent it from advancing any further. By brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes, you can ensure that your teeth are being cleaned properly and you are removing plaque from your teeth.
Smoking can actually be bad for your gums. Stay away from cigarettes which can aggravate your bleeding gums and make them worse
Eat a Balanced Diet
Make sure that you are consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables with vitamins C and K to protect gums. Also try to avoid sugary foods because carbohydrates and sugars feed dental plaque.