How to Treat and Prevent Bleeding Gums

Gums are an important part of the anatomy of our mouths, designed to support our teeth, keep them in place, and prevent damage and the intrusion of harmful bacteria and particulates. Most people never have to think about the function their gums play.

If you practice proper oral care and maintain good health in general, you may never experience bleeding gums. Unfortunately, a lax attitude toward brushing, flossing, rinsing, and visiting the dentist could result in harm to gums that leads to bleeding. Certain diseases and other trauma could also damage the gums.

This, in turn, could herald a variety of undesirable oral health issues. Naturally, it’s best to avoid this situation if at all possible, but if you’ve experienced bleeding gums in the past or you currently suffer from this condition, you need to understand why your gums are experiencing trauma and what you can do to treat it.

Potential Causes

There are several potential causes of bleeding gums. Some are not too serious. Perhaps you accidentally cut the inside of your mouth. If this is the cause of bleeding, chances are it will heal quickly and cause no further problems.

Generally speaking, however, bleeding gums refers to frequent or persistent bleeding. This condition could be the result of vigorous brushing or using a toothbrush with bristles that are too hard.

A regular routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing will usually help to keep gums healthy.  However, if you are causing trauma with brushing then you could have the opposite effect. Talk to your doctor about your oral health routine if you think you’re doing everything right but you’re still experiencing bleeding.

The more serious issue could be gum disease. This condition is characterized not only by bleeding, but also by swelling, sensitivity, and redness of the gums; receding gums; teeth that feel loose; bad breath; and sometimes even pus around the teeth or gums.

Gingivitis and periodontitis (two types of gum disease) can have serious consequences if they go untreated, including abscesses, tooth loss, and further damage. Immediate treatment may be necessary to reverse damage and salvage teeth.

Don’t forget, bleeding gums could also be related to other diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. If gums are bleeding, talk to your doctor and/or dentist immediately to figure out the causes and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Treatment

The proper method for treating bleeding gums depends largely on the cause. If oral health is good, the first protocol is generally to switch to a soft bristled toothbrush and perhaps get a refresher course from the dentist on proper brushing technique.

If tartar and plaque buildup and gum disease are to blame, or if a lack of attention to oral health is the culprit, the course of treatment is very different. Regular dental visits for cleaning are a must, as is daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash.

You may also need to change your diet. Consuming large quantities of refined sugars (especially soda and candy) can be detrimental to oral health (and all-around health, for that matter).

A healthy and balanced diet that features plenty of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A and C could help to improve oral health and contribute to improved appearance of gums. Drinking plenty of water to rinse away food particles and bacteria can also be helpful.

If your dentist discovers symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis, the first step toward solving the problem is to get on a regular schedule of dental visits for cleaning and tartar control. Your dentist may prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash if you don’t already use one. With proper daily cleaning and professional help, you should be able to reverse gum disease, stop bleeding, and salvage your oral health.

Prevention

There are some cases in which you simply cannot prevent oral health issues. If you suffer from other diseases or you’re taking certain medications (especially those that cause dryness in the mouth), your oral health may be compromised.

For most people, however, preventing bleeding gums is as simple as brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash twice a day, as well as visiting the dentist annually (or more frequently) for check-up and professional cleaning. When combined with a healthy diet, this is the best way to avoid bleeding gums and gum disease.

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