What Causes Bleeding Gums
There are several causes of bleeding gums that varies from person to person. Bleeding gums can be easily prevented and managed if the cause has been clearly established. Brushing teeth too hard is one of the most common causes of bleeding gums. This happens because hard brushing can damage blood vessels in the gums, leading to bleeding.
Clotting disorders can also lead to bleeding gums. Apart from these factors, bleeding gums can also be due to hormonal changes in the body. Expectant mothers are the most vulnerable victims when it comes to hormonal changes as the main cause of bleeding gums because of the risk that increases during pregnancy. Bleeding gums can also result from vitamin deficiency in the body.
How To Stop Bleeding Gums
Gum bleeding happens due to several factors as mentioned previously. This makes it vital to identify the main cause in order to determine the best option to implement in the management of the bleeding gums. The following is a list of the best basic approaches on how to stop gums from bleeding.
1. Balanced diet
Since gum bleeding can result from vitamin deficiency in the body, maintaining a balanced diet can help manage the problem. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits containing vitamin C, can be paramount in the prevention of bleeding gums.
Fruits and vegetables can also help in clearing out sugar from the mouth which are causative factors that can result to the onset of infections eventually causing you swollen bleeding gums.
Dairy products such as yogurt have calcium which is also essential in the development of strong teeth and gums.
However, a balanced diet does not only entail vitamins and calcium alone. It remains essential to observe the intake of all the other vital nutrients needed by the body when planning a healthy diet.
- J. P. Woelber, K. Bremer, K. Vach, D. König, E. Hellwig, P. Ratka-Krüger, A. Al-Ahmad, & C. Tennert (2017). An oral health optimized diet can reduce gingival and periodontal inflammation in humans – a randomized controlled pilot study.
- Shariq Najeeb, Muhammad Sohail Zafar, Zohaib Khurshid, Sana Zohaib, & Khalid Almas (2016). The Role of Nutrition in Periodontal Health: An Update.
2. Be gentle when brushing the teeth
Gentleness should be observed when brushing the teeth. The display of bleeding gums when brushing has been a common experience considering that many people believe in the misconception that the harder the teeth are brushed and the more frequent, the cleaner they become. This is very wrong as it may lead to damage to the blood vessels of the gums leading to gum bleeding.
The brushing should, therefore, be done in a very gentle manner. This will uphold the safety of the gums and teeth while maintaining a healthy dental hygiene.
After brushing the teeth, it is essential to rinse the mouth with sufficient amount of clean water. This helps prevent the entire mouth from keeping potential sources of infection that may result in bleeding gums.
When the risk of infection is high, it is usually recommended to use salt water or oral hydrogen peroxide for rinsing the mouth. Don’t use any drying products that may cause gum irritations like alcohol-based mouthwash. The presence of infection in the mouth makes it easier for the gums to bleed as well as develop other dental disorders.
3. Apply a cold compress
A very good bleeding gums home remedy for quick relief is the application of cold compress on the affected side. This causes a constriction of blood vessels resulting to a reduction in the amount of blood flow in the area.
How to treat bleeding gums with this approach? A simple way to make a cold compress is by wrapping an ice cube with a clean piece of cloth or towel. Hold the compress against the affected gum with gentle pressure as needed.
4. Avoid smoking
Smoking can adversely and gradually harm the smoker. Tobacco along with the other cigarette contents can aggravate bleeding gums. The toxins in the tobacco are known to affect the gums by causing inflammation and gum disease. They also interfere with normal blood flow and nutrition supply in the gums.
It has been found that smoking is also a major cause of thrombosis. The presence of thrombosis will make it easier to end up with a development of gum disease and reduction in the success rate of the treatment being applied. It can, therefore, be considered that smokers of tobacco are at a higher risk of displaying bleeding gums.
Smokers are advised to quit smoking. Non-smokers should also keep off from exposure to cigarette smokers. Both should develop a habit of increasing the vigor of their gums to avoid other dental-related complications.
5. Use the correct brushing technique
Brushing the teeth may seem to be a very simple exercise. However, it should always be carried out with an amount of caution. If carelessly done, it may easily result to bleeding gums.
Brushing the teeth across the gums makes the toothbrush move at a 90° angle, along the area where most of the blood vessels in the gums are located. This will make it likely to cause damage to these blood vessels.
Since damage to the blood vessels will result in bleeding, avoid harming the blood vessels by embracing the proper brushing method. This involves brushing the teeth in short vertical and circular motions.
The motions make brushing in harmony with the blood vessels, and therefore, reducing the risk of bleeding gums.
6. Floss regularly
Brushing the teeth with a regular toothbrush does not fully remove the amount of trapped food and dental plaque from the teeth and the mouth. Tartar and bacterial buildup can weaken the gums, making it easier to bleed.
Use of a dental floss has now significantly become relevant in boosting dental hygiene along with brushing. A dental floss is a cord that has a thin filament which is used to remove food and dental plaque that normal tooth brushing cannot do so; like between teeth.
It is important to floss at least once every day. It will be a great factor to be able to remove food and dental plaque in every inter-proximal area of the teeth.
7. Minimize stress
During stress, the body produces the cortisol hormone in excessive amounts. This particular hormone handles inflammation of blood vessels.
In case this happens, the blood vessels in different parts of the body poses a risk of inflammation. Since the blood vessels in the gums can be sensitive and easily damaged with hard brushing, it is likely for it to result in bleeding gums.
Normal stress management techniques can be used to control stress. These techniques include involvement in regular exercises as well as attending anti-stress management sessions with professionals.
Having enough sleep is one of the simpler and cheaper ways to manage stress.
8. Use a soft brush
The type of toothbrush can also be the main factor that roots the cause of a bleeding gum. There are several poor quality toothbrushes made of poor material. Make sure that the bristles of the toothbrush are of good quality. A soft nylon bristle is recommended over other hard bristles.
A hard bristle usually damages the gums, resulting to gum bleeding. Blood vessels in the gums are not highly protected from potential external damage the same way some other blood vessels of the body are protected. The skin on the gums is very thin. This means that using a brush with very hard and rough bristles can easily cause damage to the vessels, leading to a bleeding gum.
The bristles to look for should be something standardized and certified for best use.
9. Replace toothbrush regularly
After a certain period, usually not more than three months, the toothbrush should be replaced with a new one. Long periods of toothbrush usage makes the bristles wear off and become ineffective.
Also, it becomes possible for infection agents to harbor themselves in the toothbrush considering that it’s been used for a very long time. As mentioned previously, infections can lead to bleeding gums.
Before the designated time of three months elapses, prepare for a new one. The toothbrush currently on use should be maintained, well washed, and dried every after use.
- Gunjan Kumar, Alok Kumar Sethi, Ranjan Mani Tripathi, Pratik, & Diplina Barman (2018). Assessment of Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice of Dental and Medical Interns toward Toothbrush Maintenance and Replacement in Bhubaneswar City, Odisha, India.
- Martijn P. C. Van Leeuwen, Fridus A. Van der Weijden, Dagmar Else Slot, & Martijn A. M. Rosema (2018). Toothbrush wear in relation to toothbrushing effectiveness.
10. Visit a dentist regularly
When everything seems to fail, the best bleeding gum treatment method can be determined with the help of a dentist. A dentist makes careful examination and evaluation of the condition of your oral health and any associated factors. This will enable the identification of the right methods to apply in stopping the gums from bleeding.
In case the gums bleeds constantly, the dentist can help put in place an immediate remedy to stop blood loss. The dentist may also refer you to specialists for further treatment.
As always recommended, visiting the dentist should be made at least twice for each year. During these visits, the dentist will determine how frequent should be the other visits to follow.
Even though costs may be incurred, it may not be as much as the amount it will cost in treating the development of a gum disease or dental problem that may occur in the future due to lack of proper dental management. Professional advice by the dentist can be a very valuable information.
- Mariel Viviana Gómez, Andrés Toledo, Paola Carvajal, Sabrina Carvalho Gomes, Ricardo Santos Araújo Costa, Fernando Solanes, Rui Vicente Oppermann, Cassiano Kuchenbecker Rösing, Jorge Gamonal, & Hugo Romanelli (2018). A multicenter study of oral health behavior among adult subjects from three South American cities.
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