It’s natural to be alarmed when you spit blood in the sink as you brush. Blood, after all, is supposed to be kept inside our body, not outside of it. More often than not, however, people just shrug off bleeding gums as nothing more than a consequence of aggressive brushing or flossing.
Whether you’re brushing or not, bleeding gums are not something you can ignore. That’s because when this happens, you are likely exhibiting an early sign of gum disease or other oral health issues. If you have chronic bleeding gums, you should visit a dentist, or at least care for your gums more and make it an integral part of your oral hygiene routine.
So what’s causing all that bleeding from your gums? Here are some possible reasons.
Gingivitis is one of the mildest and most common forms of gum disease. Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of this condition, which irritates, reddens, and inflames the gingiva, which is the part of the gum around the base of the teeth.
It may be a mild form of gum disease, but gingivitis could progress into a much more serious condition called periodontitis, which causes painful chewing issues and tooth loss. Fortunately, reversing gingivitis is easy. A visit to the dentist can rid you of plaque, and regular brushing and flossing can do the rest.
Pregnancy is marked by hormonal changes which could lead to swollen and sensitive gums, a condition often referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis.” To avoid this, expectant mothers should take extra care of their oral health. Regular brushing and flossing and a consultation with a dentist for tips should be enough to help them keep “pregnancy gingivitis” away.
The Medicine You Take
Excellent oral hygiene habits notwithstanding, you may still experience bleeding gums if you are taking certain medications. Some prescription drugs act as blood thinners; others can lead to a dry mouth. There are also medications that cause swollen gums. This is why dentists typically ask you about any new medications you’re taking when you consult them about your bleeding gums.
Your medications might be the reason for your bleeding gums if they started when you took them. If this is your situation, ask your dentist what you can do to alleviate it.
A New Oral Health Routine
Sometimes, starting a new oral care routine can lead to bleeding gums. You might have increased the frequency of your brushing and flossing, and your gums may react differently to your new routine. Give your gums some time to adjust, and the bleeding will likely stop once it’s used to your new oral care regimen.
Too Little Vitamin C
Vitamin C contributes to the growth and repair of our tissue. It also makes our bones and teeth stronger and helps heal our wounds. When we don’t have enough vitamin C in our body, we’re more than likely to experience weakness, irritability, and swollen and bleeding gums over time.
When To See Your Dentist
When you see blood in the foam that you spit out when brushing, don’t panic, especially when you have exceptional oral health habits. It’s normal for gums to bleed sometimes, and that bleeding eventually stops without you doing anything about it.
What should alarm you is when the bleeding happens too frequently, and your gums are swollen and sensitive. Persistent bad breath is also a sign of gum disease. So if you’re experiencing these on a daily basis, you might want to visit your dentist. Your chances of reversing your condition are so much better when you seek professional help as soon as you can.
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Amanda McIntyre is a Content Marketing Strategist for Dental Studio 101, a Scottsdale, Arizona cosmetic dentistry clinic that specializes in providing anxiety-free dental services, including dental implants and porcelain veneers. She enjoys reading books and being around family and friends.