Bleeding gums is something we can confidently say has been experienced by all our clients. But, despite its frequency, bleeding gums shouldn’t be ignored.
Sure, if you injured yourself playing a contact sport, you might be able to brush off the dentist visit, but if your gums bleed every time you brush or floss your teeth – pick up the phone and call your dental office.
What is the Cause of Bleeding Gums?
Bleeding gums that occur due to brushing or flossing is often a sign that your oral health could be compromised. In most cases, this bleeding is an indicator of gum disease.
Experienced by over half of Canada’s population, gum disease can cause serious damage to the gums, teeth, jaw, and eventually become a catalyst for other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory complications, and stroke.
Gum disease arises when plaque and tartar adhering to the teeth beneath the gum line. Without the removal of these harmful bacteria, an infection can take place, causing inflammation. Given enough time, gingivitis will onset, creating tiny pockets underneath your gums, ultimately leading to bleeding and soreness.
Prevention is by far the most pivotal factor in the battle against gum disease. But once bleeding has started, what can you do? Is oral maintenance at home good enough to reverse the effects? Will you need to see a dentist?
Tips to Stop Bleeding Gums
Improve Your Home Dental Care
For most of our patients, bleeding gums arise due to poor dental hygiene. Luckily, this can be fixed with a quick change of habits.
Good oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth with proper technique twice daily. We recommend before you go to bed and after you wake up. This will help to curb resting bacteria in your mouth during a normal 8-hour sleep schedule.
To ensure proper technique, brush your teeth gently paying close attention to where your teeth meet your gums. Massaging these areas is important for the removal of plaque. Just make sure to clean behind your teeth and focus on difficult-to-reach areas where plaque is most likely to accumulate.
It is also encouraged to floss right before bed for the exact same reason. The more you follow these rituals, the less likely you will experience bleeding gums and dental decay.
Quit Smoking and Chewing
Smoking tobacco and other substances have been linked with heart disease, respiratory challenges, and of course, oral disease. These effects are increasingly worse for those who take part in smokeless tobacco, also known as chewing tobacco.
The side effects include tooth discolouration, reduced smell and taste, halitosis, increased tartar, and plaque, as well as gum disease and ulcers.
Talking to your doctor and dentist is one of the best ways to establish a plan for quitting, as well as helping to screen for early signs of oral cancer and periodontal disease.
Increase Vitamin C Intake
Citrus and other vitamin C rich foods help to strengthen our immune system and have been shown to help the immune system fight off plaque-causing bacteria. Try to include items such as oranges, sweet potatoes, peppers, strawberries, and broccoli in your diets to increase your vitamin C intake.
Find Ways to Reduce Stress
Stress is often linked to heart diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, for its ability to increase plaque within our cardiovascular system. However, stress doesn’t just affect your veins and arteries, it can affect your entire immune system.
Find ways such as exercise, practice mindfulness, and meditation to reduce daily stress and let your immune system do its job.
The Best Way to Stop Bleeding Gums
One of the best ways to stop and eliminate gum disease is listening to your dentist and make regular appointments to keep on top of your oral health care. Unfortunately, too many patients skip their semi-annual checkups, telling themselves that brushing and flossing are all they need.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Frequent visits to your dentist have been shown time and time again to reduce the build-up of hardened plaque and with a proper care team monitoring your oral health, you are sure to be in the best of hands.
If you haven’t visited your dentist recently, give Portrait Dental a call, so you can create your picture-perfect smile today!