Have you noticed that when you eat or brush your teeth your gums bleed? The sight of blood oozing from your gums can be frightening, but knowing the cause can help you understand and treat the problem or prevent it altogether.
Common Reasons Gums Bleed
There are a lot of oral health issues that can result in bleeding gums, some are more concerning than others, but almost all of them have simple solutions. For more serious issues, Weston Dental is here to work with you to return your gums back to a state of health. Some causes of bleeding gums are listed below.
Plaque Build-Up on the Gum Line
Plaque buildup near the gums is called gingivitis. When plaque builds up around the gums it allows bacteria to thrive. Therefore, unless it is removed by a dentist, it will become tartar, which can cause bleeding.
New Cleaning Routine
Your mouth is a very sensitive area and can react negatively to changes in your regular oral hygiene routine. Perhaps you have always used a soft-bristled toothbrush, but after visiting the dentist, your new toothbrush has harder bristles. This can result in bleeding gums due to the harder bristles scraping against them. Changing from one type of floss to another may also result in bleeding gums, but generally, these changes normalize after repeated use.
Another cause of bleeding gums is a disease of the jawbone, periodontitis. Though similar to gingivitis, periodontitis is much worse. It occurs when the bacteria has made its way into the gum line and it can result in a loss of teeth or even parts of the jawbone.
Nutritional Lacking & Pregnancy
Not getting enough vitamin K or vitamin C can also lead to frequent bleeding of the gums. If your oral health care provider doesn’t find evidence of other issues, they may suggest that you get tested to see if that is the cause of your bleeding gums. Pregnant women also often suffer from bleeding gums due to extreme hormone fluctuations as well as from sharing their nutrients with their growing child. This tends to self-resolve a few months after giving birth.
Health Conditions & Medications
If you have started taking new medications such as blood thinners, blood pressure medication or immuno-suppressants, they can result in your gums becoming overly sensitive which may result in bleeding. Certain over-the-counter drugs which lead to dry mouth can also cause your gums to bleed due to decreased saliva production.
In some cases, bleeding gums can be a sign of a larger health problem. If your dentist is unable to find any oral health issues that are causing your gums to bleed, you may want to speak with your general practitioner in regards to further testing.
How to Prevent or Reduce Bleeding
Using a soft bristle toothbrush and flat floss is one way to reduce or prevent your gums from getting irritated or bleeding. Make sure that you always use a mouthwash that is ADA approved, and if you are a smoker, consider speaking with one of the dentists here at Weston Dental Office about smoking cessation programs to help you quit. We are always here to help you maintain the best oral health possible, if you need assistance with your bleeding gums, call us today at (416) 247-1928 to set up an appointment.