Gums play a major role not only in your dental health, but in your overall well-being. Swollen and bleeding gums are first signs of gum disease. Bleeding gums are mainly due to inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at the gum line. This will lead to a condition called gingivitis, or inflamed gums. An important aspect of gingivitis to remember is that it is reversible. Gingivitis is usually painless, although the gums may be red, swollen, and bleed easily with brushing. There can also be a bad taste in the mouth or persistent bad breath.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into an advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis, which damages the gum tissue and underlying bone. Tooth loss and other damage caused by periodontitis cannot be reversed. However, your dentist can limit further damage by stopping the progression of periodontitis by treatment.
Other causes of bleeding gums include:
- Any bleeding disorder
- Brushing too hard
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Improper flossing
- Use of blood thinners
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Orthodontic Treatment
Tips To Prevent Bleeding Gums :
- Visit the dentist at least once every 6 months for plaque removal. Follow your dentist's home care instructions.
- Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush after every meal. Rinsing with salt water or hydrogen peroxide and water will be helpful. Avoid using commercial, alcohol-containing mouthwashes, which aggravate the problem.
- Flossing teeth twice a day can prevent plaque from building up. Avoiding snacking between meals and reducing carbohydrates can also help.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash
- Eat balanced diet, including plenty of vitamin C and calcium, may minimize the likelihood of experiencing gum problems.
- Drinking water, especially after eating, can help wash food off your teeth and make it less likely that bacteria will form gum-damaging plaque.
- Avoid the use of tobacco chewing and smoking, which aggravates bleeding gums.
- Control gum bleeding by applying pressure directly on the gums with a gauze pad soaked in ice water.
- If you have been diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency, take recommended vitamin supplements.
- Avoid aspirin unless your health care provider has recommended that you take it.
- If side effects of medication are irritating, ask your doctor to recommend another medication. Never change your medication without consulting your doctor.
Consult your Dentist if :
- The bleeding is severe or long term (chronic)
- Your gums continue to bleed even after treatment
- You have other unexplained symptoms with the bleeding