Sometimes when brushing or flossing your gums will bleed, and, sometimes, this is just a sign of hard brushing, nothing more. However, bleeding gums can also be a sign of serious disease and, in any case, blood in the sink should never be ignored. There are many reasons your gums may be bleeding, and it’s in your best interest to figure out why and fix the problem to avoid long-term pain and health risks.
1) Gingivitis: The first risk many people associate with bleeding gums is gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when bacteria in the mouth form plaque on teeth, causing gums to swell and bleed. Gingivitis is normally treatable when caught early on, but can lead to severe mouth disease and tooth loss if left untreated.
2) Bad Oral Hygiene: Though you may brush twice a day, that isn’t enough. Bleeding or sore gums could be a sign that you need to be doing more to care for your teeth. Brushing alone doesn’t get rid of all the tartar and plaque buildup in your mouth. Be sure to brush morning and night, and floss at least once a day, following up with a mouthwash to rinse. If you’ve started experiencing bleeding gums, or get them frequently, then brushing after every meal may be necessary and can help keep your gums from getting irritated.
3) Pregnancy/Hormonal Changes: If you notice bleeding gums but have generally good dental practices and a healthy diet, you may be expecting! Pregnancy gingivitis occurs in some women, causing sore or bleeding gums during pregnancy. Fluctuations in hormone levels increase blood flow all over your body, including your gums. Pregnancy also affects the mouth’s normal response to bacteria, leaving you more susceptible to sustain tooth damage. Switching to a softer toothbrush and consulting your OBGYN and dentist should help manage the problem throughout pregnancy.
4) Your Diet Is Lacking: If you’ve been heavy on the processed foods lately, it could be affecting your gum health, whether you’re brushing and flossing regularly or not. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables along with vitamins D, C, and other important supplements improve your immune system and prevent diseases, as well as gum disease. The tissues in your mouth, your oral soft tissues, are nourished by good diet practices, which is important in preventing gum disease.
5) Periodontal Disease: The most severe form of gum disease, periodontal disease occurs when gingivitis progresses and is left untreated. The gum and bone that hold teeth in place is severely weakened in those with periodontal disease, and it’s typically painful and leads to tooth loss.
If you’ve experienced bleeding gums recently, a dental checkup may be necessary for peace of mind and to prevent further oral damage. At Greenspoint Dental, we offer gum and periodontal treatment to make keep your gums pink and healthy. Contact us today to make an appointment and take the first step towards oral health.