Gum tissue bleeds when it is inflamed. Such is the case in patients who have gum disease—either gingivitis (early-stage) or periodontitis (advanced). When plaque builds up, the bacteria can cause redness, swelling, bleeding, and eventually tooth loss.
Mild bleeding that occasionally results from flossing is usually nothing to be concerned about. But if your gums bleed regularly after eating or brushing, it could be a sign of a relatively serious condition. Here are the most common causes of and cures for bleeding gums.
Bleeding Gums: Causes and Cures
We know that careless oral hygiene can lead to gum disease and bleeding gums. However there are other causes to be aware of. For example, cancer treatments are notorious for their unpleasant side effects, including painful and swollen gums. Oncology patients may develop sores in the mouth and experience bleeding from the gums. Always communicate with your dentist if you are undergoing or about to undergo chemotherapy or other cancer treatments.
Gums may also bleed after vigorous brushing and flossing. Toothbrush bristles are designed to clean without added pressure. Scrubbing too hard or using a low-quality toothbrush can cause gums to bleed.
Additional causes of gum bleeding include tobacco use, hormonal changes in women, and recurrent or severe canker sores or ulcers.
How to Prevent Bleeding Gums
Switch to a brush with soft or extra-soft bristles, and work gently in circular motions rather than rubbing back and forth across the teeth and soft tissue. When it comes to dental floss, use waxed floss, and slide it in carefully without digging it into the gums. Brush twice daily and floss once daily.
Eat a nutritious diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals. Avoid extremely hot or cold foods if you tend to experience gum irritation. Drink plenty of water. And give up smoking or chewing tobacco.
Consistent oral hygiene and regular dental checkups and cleanings should keep your gums healthy. If you do experience bleeding gums, see your EDP dentist at the first opportunity. Take a significant bite out of dental costs with an EDP Dental Plan. You can save up to 60% when you visit a participating dentist, so sign up today or call 1.800.777.1085 for instant coverage.