Lots of people experience bleeding gums, whether from an underlying ailment or vigorous oral hygiene habits. Let’s dive into some common causes!
It has happened to many of us — after brushing your teeth, there’s blood in your toothpaste when you spit. Or maybe you’re flossing in between your teeth, and your gums start to bleed. Why is this happening? Here are five possible reasons:
When plaque builds up at the gumline, it hardens and turns tartar or calculus. Lots of tartar increases bleeding and turns into gingivitis, which causes bleeding alongside tender or swollen gums. Unaddressed gingivitis can lead to gum diseases and even loose teeth or tooth loss in adults. However, gingivitis resolves itself with proper dental care and regular oral hygiene.
Pregnancy gingivitis can also cause your gums to bleed. During pregnancy, your hormones alter the response to gum disease bacteria and cause inflammation. Brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting your dentist often, can help you stop gum bleeding from worsening.
Changes in Dental Hygiene
If you recently modified your oral health practices (for example, if you started flossing regularly after not doing so in a while) you might experience more bleeding than usual. That’s normal! Your gums are sensitive, and introducing new habits into your dental care routine can be intense on your teeth.
As you continue these new dental hygiene practices, the bleeding should clear up. If it doesn’t stop or if bleeding worsens, contact your dentist. It could be a sign of gingivitis or an underlying issue.
Brushing and Flossing Too Hard
If you brush too vigorously, your gums might start to bleed. But don’t stop brushing your teeth! Switch to a softer toothbrush, as firmer bristles can cause more bleeding, and use gentle movements. Remember, you should form light circles as you brush your teeth.
Along with causing your gums to bleed, over-brushing puts you at risk of developing other issues like receding gums. Brushing hard doesn’t actually clean your teeth better!
Blood-thinning medications could also cause bleeding gums. Because these medications decrease your blood’s ability to clot, your gums may bleed easier than they would otherwise. Aspirin, warfarin, and heparin are common examples of blood-thinning medications.
If you think your gums are bleeding due to a blood-thinning medication, or if the bleeding worsens and becomes serious, talk to your dentist. Also, if you’re about to undergo a dental procedure like wisdom tooth removal surgery, make sure your dentist knows you’re taking blood-thinning medications before the operation.
Other Bleeding or Blood Clotting Disorders
Gum bleeding is more common in those with particular health problems, such as liver diseases or blood clotting disorders. People with anemia, leukemia, hemophilia, and temporal arteritis are also more likely to experience bleeding gums.
Vitamin C and vitamin K deficiencies could also result in gum bleeding. Along with taking supplements, eating fruits and vegetables is key to upping your vitamin C and K intake. Eat broccoli, citrus, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, and bell peppers to increase vitamin C. For your vitamin K dose, incorporate spinach, kale, Swiss chard, watercress, mustard greens, canola and olive oil into your diet.
Say Goodbye to Bleeding Gums with Espire
If you’re experiencing bleeding gums, there are some at-home remedies you can try! You can do a salt water rinse nightly after brushing and flossing, and massage your gums with gum brushes or a gum stimulator. You should also consider investing in a better toothbrush, such as one with softer bristles or an electric toothbrush that helps you brush gently. But to really treat gum bleeding, you have to know the root cause.
At Espire Dental, we can help you understand why your gums are bleeding and find a solution that works for you! Whether it’s gingivitis, an underlying condition, or something new to your dental hygiene routine, our team of professionals can help treat bleeding gums and improve your overall oral health. Schedule an appointment with our La Mesa, California office today!