If you notice a bit of pink when you spit after brushing or flossing, it could be a sign of gum disease. Though a tiny amount of blood may not seem like a big deal, if you notice it happening consistently, don’t ignore it. Your gums may be bleeding for a variety of reasons, from pregnancy to gingivitis. Change in your oral care routine could also be a cause. You might need to quit some bad habits to stop gum bleeding.
Worried? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about bleeding gums and how to prevent them.
Bleeding Gums – What You Need to Know
Although there are numerous reasons for bleeding gums, it is best to have them checked out by a dentist. Some less serious reasons include:
- New Toothbrush
If you are used to a soft toothbrush and have recently purchased one with harder bristles, this could be the reason why your gums are bleeding. It is best to purchase a brush with the same softness as your previous toothbrush.
This is also the beginning stage of gum disease. Plaque around the gumline that hasn’t been cleaned properly is a breeding ground for bacteria that cause gum infections. This can further lead to gingivitis, a condition where gums become tender and swollen. You can stop it from spreading by maintaining proper oral hygiene habits and visiting your dentist for regular checkups.
Smokers are at a considerably higher risk of having their gums bleed than non-smokers. Inhaled smoke leaves behind irritating toxins that are difficult to get rid of through good oral care habits alone. These substances result in the gums becoming irritated and bloody. Additionally, smokers have a somewhat compromised immune system that increases infection, reduces their healing factor and inhibits oxygenation of blood. Taken collectively, all these factors can negatively influence one’s oral health, so it is best to quit smoking as soon as you can.
Blood thinners cause bleeding gums in many patients by slowing down blood’s ability to clot. This is the leading cause of bleeding gums, so inform your dentist about any medications you are taking to ensure they provide you with proper care.
- Poor Diet
Processed foods generally contain ingredients that irritate gums and result in bleeding. So, it is better to choose healthier options such as vegetables and fruits. Consume foods rich in vitamins C and D, magnesium and calcium as they help maintain good oral health.
- Misaligned Bite
If your teeth aren’t aligned properly, you could develop “bite disease” which means you are applying destructive force to your teeth and ruining them along with the jawbone and supporting tissue. When you repeatedly hit the same spot too hard, your gum will start to recede and the bone will deteriorate. This allows gum disease to more easily appear.
- Vitamin Deficiencies
Deficiencies of vitamin C and K are also related to bleeding gums, so ask your dentist to check your body’s vitamin levels. Also, try to maintain a diet rich in nutrients to ensure your body receives proper vitamins.
Some foods rich in vitamin C are:
- Bell peppers
- Citrus fruits
Some foods rich in vitamin K are:
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Mustard Greens
Treatment and Prevention
There are different ways to stop your gums from bleeding and to eliminate it completely. Since they mainly occur due to inadequate removal of plaque around the gum line and teeth, a daily hygiene regimen helps treat and prevent the condition. Here are some things you can do.
Brush Your Teeth Daily
Brushing your teeth in slow circular motions using a soft-bristled toothbrush can stimulate your gums. This, in turn, helps strengthen the tissue protecting your teeth and prevents gums from bleeding.
Remember to Floss
Flossing is an important way to help your gums stop bleeding and maintain good oral health. It helps get rid of food particles left behind after brushing and remaining plaque too.
Regularly Visit Your Dentist
The harmful bacteria present in plaque can lead to different issues beyond problems such as gingivitis, like weakened tooth enamel. That is why it is vital to have your teeth cleaned at least twice a year by a professional dentist who can effectively get rid of any tartar and plaque buildup. If needed, they may also ask you to have dental exams done to find out about any underlying issues not visible to the naked eye. This can help treat bleeding gums and prevent them from turning into more serious problems.
While occasionally bleeding gums are a common dental issue experienced by many, it is never for no reason. If you notice blood when you spit after a prolonged period of brushing, contact your dentist to determine the cause. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry.