One fine morning when you woke up from sleep and started brushing your teeth, you realised that you were spitting a slight amount of blood with the foam. After a while, you may notice the bleeding even while eating or at times spontaneously.
If you’re wondering why your gums bleed, here is the solution with understanding related to its causes,treatment and prevention.
Bleeding gums are caused by inadequate plaque removal. Plaque contains germs-a bacterial biofilm which accumulates around your gum line and attacks the healthy tissue around the teeth,this will cause the gums to become inflamed and irritated ,which may then bleed when brushing or flossing.This is called GINGIVITIS and is the first sign of gum disease. Gum disease usually isn't painful, so many people don't know they have it until it advances.
Top 10 Causes of Bleeding gums
1. Poor oral hygiene-most common cause
Gums may bleed when they get inflamed and this occurs when people fail to keep their teeth clean. A lot of people don`t brush or floss properly and this leads to build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. The gums get irritated and are red, swollen and painful.The gums may then bleed at the slightest provocation.
2. Malpositioned teeth
This may make cleaning teeth very difficult through routine brushing and may lead to gum bleeding. The crooked teeth can also lead to food getting trapped between two teeth. This again causes the gum to become inflamed and bleeding.Sometimes ill-fitting dentures and faulty dental appliances can lead to gum bleeding too.
3. Trauma to the gums
This may occur due to overzealous brushing or using a hard bristled toothbrush which may traumatize the gums.
Certain medications such as aspirin,clopidogrel etc. which are given to patients at risk of heart attacks or stroke, drugs given for epilepsy, cancer chemotherapy etc. may cause the gums to bleed.
5. Hormonal changes in women
These occur at various stages in a woman’s life such as when she reaches puberty, during pregnancy orthe postmenopausal phase. These changes also occur regularly during her periods or during use of oral contraceptive pills and during any hormone replacement therapy.These hormonal changes increase the chances of bleeding from the gums.
Some other systemic causes:
6. Vitamin C deficiency
7. Hormonal diseases like diabetes mellitus,
8. Bleeding disorders and coagulation defects.
9. Liver disease
TREATMENT & PREVENTION:
1. Brush your teeth at least twice each day- Make sure you follow proper brushing technique. If you're not sure what to do, ask your dentist for a quick lesson at your next appointment.Use a soft/medium bristle toothbrush which is gentle on your gums.Change your toothbrush every 3 months.
2. Floss daily- It doesn't take more than a few minutes, but flossing may be the most important thing you can do to prevent gum problems now and in the future.
3. Rinse with mouthwash- Use an antiseptic mouthwash prescribed by dentist,it helps kill bacteria that cause gum disease.Gum astringent gels prescribed by dentist can also be used to massage gums. A rinse of warm salt water can help soothe swollen gums that bleed easily.
4. Eat a well-balanced diet- A balanced diet, including plenty of vitamin C and calcium, may minimize the likelihood you'll have gum problems.
5. Drink plenty of water- Drinking water, especially after eating, can help wash food off your teeth and make it less likely that bacteria will form plaque-damaging gum.
6. Schedule a professional dental cleaning– Getting your teeth clean bi annually goes in a long way for having a good oral health.
7. Advance Gum Care- Routine cleanings are for people with healthy teeth and gums. Infected gums require specialized care, often utilizing advanced instruments and medicaments as well as treatment protocols that are specifically tailored for the periodontally involved patients..Some of the commonly carried out treatments are -curettage,root planning,or some flap surgeries with bone graftings in advanced cases.
8. Say no to tobacco- gums may bleed if you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products, try to quit.
9. Be relaxed- Being stressed out raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol, increasing the likelihood of inflammation throughout your body,including in your gums
10.Schedule an general health check up- To determine if dental health is not the underlying issue causing your bleeding gums. A complete physical examination and blood work can help determine the cause of your bleeding. Treatment will vary accordingly.