When you notice any part of your body bleeding, you know something isn’t right. The same goes for bleeding gums. Gums bleed due to inflammation, sores, bacteria and germ build up, infections and gum sensitivity. When they are weakened or damaged, infections, sores, and bleeding are more likely to occur.
Your gums are made of soft tissue that needs proper care and nutrients to be healthy and strong. When you provide the proper care, you can reduce or eliminate the aforementioned gum issues.
Gingivitis and Gum Disease
Bleeding gums are a symptom of the two biggest gum problems, gingivitis and gum disease. Both these ailments are not to be ignored and should be treated immediately to avoid tooth loss. Gingivitis and gum disease are not the only reasons why your gums are bleeding. There are numerous other causes, most of which can be treated with simple changes to one’s lifestyle and oral care techniques.
Possible Causes for Bleeding Gums
There are many other, less obvious, reasons your gums may be bleeding. Below are some of the more common reasons your gums might be bleeding:
- Inadequate oral hygiene. You should brush your teeth twice a day as well as floss and use mouthwash once a day to protect your mouth against the build-up of germs that can lead to gingivitis and gum disease.
- Improper brushing. While it may seem that the harder you brush your teeth and gums, the more germs you’ll remove, the opposite is actually true. A hard bristle brush can scrape away tooth enamel as well as tear up the soft tissue that make up your gums. Consider using a soft to medium firm toothbrush and brush in a gentle circular pattern instead of vigorously going up and down.
- Poor eating habits. Gums are made of tissue that need calcium and vitamin C. Gum bleeding may be a result of a deficiency of either of those nutrients. Not eating a nutrient rich diet can weaken your gums and make them more prone to sores and infections which can lead to bleeding gums.
- Stress can take a negative toll on your gums. Just like other parts of your body under stress, an abundance of extra blood through the vessels in your gums cause them to expand, making them weaker and more likely to get inflamed and bleed. Heightened stress can also prolong healing of sores and infections on the gums.
- Smoking and tobacco use. The chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products attack and break down gum tissue, making the gums weak and vulnerable to bleeding, inflammation, infection and oral cancer. Avoid smoking and tobacco to keep your gums healthy and strong.
- The radiation in chemotherapy can sometimes cause stomatitis, where painful blisters and sores occur on the gums.
- Women may experience bleeding gums during puberty, menstruation and pregnancy. The hormones increase the amount of blood to the gums, causing them to get sore and swollen.
- Canker sores or mouth ulcers. These sores and blisters can happen anywhere in the mouth, including on the gums. The bleeding in the gums is a way for them to begin the healing process.
- The interactions of the chemicals you’re taking can have negative side effects on your gums, causing them to get inflamed, and feel sore.
- A build-up of bacteria and germs can destroy your gums making them vulnerable to infection. Bleeding gums that are a result of a bacterial build up often leads to gingivitis or to the more serious gum disease. Proper oral hygiene, a balanced diet, proper brushing and the avoidance of tobacco products are recommended ways to keep germs at bay.
Regardless of the cause you should always mention instances of bleeding gums to us on your next appointment.
While some of these causes are out of your control, some can be remedied with simple lifestyle or tooth cleaning changes. When you notice your gums are bleeding, don’t panic. Talk to us first and we’ll let you know if it is the result of something serious like gum disease or as simple as eating healthier.