Here’s Why You Have Bleeding Gums
It’s easy to blow off a little blood-tinged toothpaste residue left in the washbasin and put it down to “excessive” teeth-brushing. Some of us like to put a little muscle in it and make it a thorough wrist-workout. Even so, having bleeding gums can be a sign of a more serious issue – one that warrants further investigation.
10 Things that cause bleeding gums
There are a number of reasons as to why your gums may be bleeding. If you haven’t been giving your teeth the attention they deserve- that could explain it. Or not. It’s always best to have your dentist give you a proper prognosis. In the meantime, here’s ten possible causes of bleeding gums.
1. Not-so-good oral care
Remember that mantra of “brush twice a day”? Throw in some regular flossing and dentist check-ups, and you’ve got a stellar oral care routine up and running. A bit of slacking in that department, could, unfortunately lead to bleeding gums. A build-up of plaque along the gum line can turn into tartar if not removed timeously. Tartar is a hardened substance that plaque tends to stick to, which further irritates the gums, causing them to bleed.
2. Periodontal disease (gum disease)
Bleeding gums could be a sign of gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums brought on by a bacterial infection. The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed with the correct treatment and dental practices. However, if left untreated – gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease: a more serious infection that results in the erosion of the gum and jawbone. Bleeding gums, should therefore not be taken lightly.
3. Inadequate cleaning tools
Sometimes, you could have a well-maintained oral care regime, but your toothbrush with its hard, rough, Hulk-like bristles could be causing irritation to your gums and making them bleed. A toothbrush with softer bristles is preferable
4. Beginner flosser
You may have given up the habit of flossing, only to pick it up again after ending up with bits of kernel stuck in those hard-to-reach places after an intense popcorn-crunching session. When you begin a new flossing routine, your gums may bleed a little, but this should ease within seven days. It is best to approach flossing with gentle movements, without applying too much pressure on the gums and teeth.
5. Poor diet
Chocolates and sugar-filled foods are tempting. They call to us. They beckon to us. And while it is easy to gorge on these foods – the key word here is moderation. A poor diet is linked to tooth problems and bleeding gums, making it vital to have a diet rich in nutrients, which serves to strengthen the immune system and provide nourishment to the oral soft tissues.
Kicking a habit to the curb can be difficult. Especially one that has become part of a routine. Stressed: smoke a cigarette. Need a break: go outside and smoke a cigarette. Time to smoke a cigarette: smoke a cigarette. The thing is, cigarettes contain toxins which causes inflammation and has an adverse effect on the body’s immune responses. Bleeding gums provide a gateway for periodontal bacteria to enter the bloodstream, allowing disease to spread to other parts of the body.
High levels of stress and anxiety affect more than just a person’s emotional and mental wellbeing. In fact, the body’s ability to fight off periodontal bacteria is hindered, making an anxious/ stressed-out person more susceptible to gum infection.
Some medication, especially those that result in blood thinning (aspirin) increase the chances of gum bleeding. The side-effects of certain medications, such as the thickening of gum tissue and a dry mouth may cause the gum tissue to become more susceptible to instances of plaque growth, resulting in periodontal disease.
9. Family history
Unfortunately, some individuals may be more prone to periodontal disease than others, due to genes. This may be the time to go around waggling your finger at the parents or grandparents for a less-than-perfect set of gums. If you find it difficult to maintain the health of your gums due to a family history of gum disease, visiting the dentist regularly for a check-up and maintenance is essential.
Along with that baby bump and light-up-your-face pregnancy glow, pregnant women may develop something called “pregnancy gingivitis” which can cause bleeding, tenderness and swelling of the gums. This is a result of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Fortunately, these symptoms tend to fade away once the pregnancy is over.
Treat your bleeding gums
Dr Bruce Stevens has been helping patients maintain their oral health for 40 years, making him your-go-to-guy for any of your dental problems, including bleeding gums. If bleeding gums is giving you worry-induced sleepless nights, or if you merely want to make sure your oral health is up to scratch, contact us at Bruce Stevens Dental in Cairns. We will make sure you get the treatment you deserve!