Here are eight possible bleeding gum causes – and what you can do to stop them.
Gingivitis happens when plaque accumulation causes inflammation around the gum tissue. People with gingivitis suffer from red, swollen gums that bleed when brushing or flossing. To treat gingivitis, your dentist may start with a deep dental cleaning. They might also restore crowns, bridges, or other dental appliances that rub against your gums.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Avoid it by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine to prevent plaque and tartar formation.
2. Rough Brushing
Brushing your teeth vigorously damages your dental enamel and makes your gums bruised and bleeding. It can also put you at risk of gum recession. Brush in gentle, circular motions instead of sawing roughly back and forth to prevent harming your teeth and gums. Trading in your toothbrush for one with soft bristles will also help lessen the impact of brushing and keep your gums from bleeding.
3. Hormonal Changes
A 2019 study shows that most pregnant women were unaware of a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Shifts in hormones and how your pregnant body responds to bacteria make your dental situation more precarious.
While you should always maintain good oral hygiene habits with child or not, expectant women should be extra mindful of brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily. Don’t fret, mama! Seeing a little blood in your spit is normal for preggos. But if you notice more bleeding than usual, let your dentist know to avoid further complications.
4. Vitamin Deficiency
As if you need more reason to load up on vitamins, research in Frontiers Nutrition says that your body needs an adequate amount of ascorbic acid to achieve optimal oral health. Read: a lack of vitamin C means a high potential for bleeding gums. The recommended daily intake for ascorbic acid is 90mg for men and 75mg for women. You don’t need to take supplements. Eat vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables, to boost immunity and keep your gums healthy.
A lack of vitamin K, responsible for blood clotting, may also result in bleeding gums. In addition to these two, eat a balanced diet chock with calcium, vitamin A, and magnesium. Avoid sugary or processed foods that may block your body from absorbing all the good stuff.
5. Underlying Health Conditions
In rare cases, bleeding gums might signal more serious health issues. Patients with liver disease, blood clotting disorders, anemia, leukaemia, and temporal arteritis suffer from the side effect of gum bleeding. If you believe you have any of these conditions, consult your doctor immediately to get a proper diagnosis and solution.
6. Blood Thinning Medications
Blood thinning medications reduce the blood’s ability to clot, making bleeding easier. If you take any of these substances, inform your dentist before undergoing any procedure that might cause bleeding, such as a deep cleaning, tooth extraction, or dental implant placement.
Everyone knows the health risks of smoking, but did you know that lighting up can also cause gum problems? Cigarettes and other tobacco products can damage your dental health so much that bleeding gums may seem like the least of your problems. People who smoke are more prone to other issues, such as gum sensitivity, pain, and gum disease.
Wearing braces or retainers can make your gums more vulnerable to plaque buildup if you don’t practise proper oral hygiene. As you know, plaque and tartar are culprits behind bleeding gums. It’s easy for food to get lodged between the metal and wires, and you might miss a couple when you brush. The same issue happens when you have crooked teeth that give bacteria easy pockets to hide in. Harboured bacteria from your lunch can cause tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis.
Fortunately, you can avoid these issues with clear aligners. ClearCorrect aligners allow you to eat what you want, brush and floss as usual, and get straighter teeth without anyone knowing about your treatment. It uses a high trimline and a proprietary ClearQuartz material to apply pressure strategically and gently to get your teeth where they should be. Learn more about ClearCorrect.
Do you ever wonder, “When should I be concerned about bleeding gums?” The condition may be common, but you should never shrug it off. Whether it’s adjusting your brushing style or finding an alternative orthodontic treatment, you and your dentist can always develop a solution to protect your gums. It’s easy to focus on your teeth but to achieve total oral health, don’t count your gums out.
Murererehe, J., Uwitonze, A. M., Nikuze, P., Patel, J., & Razzaque, M. S. (2022). Beneficial Effects of Vitamin C in Maintaining Optimal Oral Health. Frontiers in Nutrition, 8.
Togoo, R. A., Al-Almai, B., Al-Hamdi, F., Huaylah, S. H., Althobati, M. K., & Alqarni, S. (2019). Knowledge of Pregnant Women about Pregnancy Gingivitis and Children Oral Health. European Journal of Dentistry, 13(02), 261–270.
University of Bristol. (2017, July 28). Dental braces and periodontal disease | Research | University of Bristol.