B.D.S.(India), PGD.Ortho, PGDAD(Cosmetic)
International Dental Practitioner
DENTAL MAKEOVER, Delhi NCR.
Most of us once in a while or often must have noticed spitting a bit of blood in the sink after brushing and flossing, it may not seem like a big deal, and in fact you may not even notice it anymore. But the truth is that bleeding gums are never something to ignore. More often than not, bleeding gums are an early sign of gum disease which should be addressed immediately. The common reasons for bleeding gums:
Inefficient oral hygiene practices
The most common reason for red, swollen, puffy, or bleeding gums is inefficient and inadequate oral hygiene. This means that the basic routine of brushing and flossing twice daily is not being done. It takes very little time for plaque and tartar to build up on teeth and along the gum line, in fact almost immediately after brushing it begins to rebuild. This buildup of plaque is what irritates gums and may cause irreversible damage in the gums and bones if left untreated for long.
Remedy: Be sure to follow your cleaning routine so that your teeth, gums, and other oral tissues are properly brushed in the morning and in the evening, being sure to also floss at least once every day. You may find it more effective to brush with an electric toothbrush which can be beneficial for gums as the rotating head massages gums and promotes blood flow to the tissues, which helps to fight off infection. Additionally, try using an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing to give cleaning routine a boost.
Your regular diet
Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and foods high in vitamin C are essential building blocks of a diet that keeps your mouth happy. Foods that are high in sugar, starch, and acid on the other hand are not good for your oral and general health. Sugars from sweet food items stick to teeth and along the gum line, if not removed soon after consumption, start to damage teeth and gum tissues. If you indulge in these types of foods throughout the day and don’t brush your teeth between meals, you are essentially adding more destructive bacteria to your mouth with each bite.
Remedy: Vegetables and fruits are great for your oral health as they scrape against teeth and dislodge destructive food and bacteria while being very low in sugar. Dairy products such as cheese contribute to healthy teeth and gums as well and, for swollen gums, foods with anti-inflammatory properties such as fish oil are great to add to your diet. Substituting a meal with a big salad filled with healthy proteins and vegetables can do wonders for your oral and overall health.
Most women experience gingivitis during pregnancy, which can lead to gum disease. Hormones released during pregnancy make mothers-to-be much more vulnerable to gum disease even if they brush and floss twice each day as the gum tissues are in general more irritable and less able to fight off infection.
REMEDY: Visiting your dentist as soon as you know that you are pregnant is essential so that you can get professional advice and set up regular appointments for cleanings and checkups throughout your pregnancy. Brushing and flossing at least twice every day is the most important thing to do to keep your oral hygiene in check. You may want to use a non-alcoholic antibacterial mouthwash after each time you brush and floss your teeth to ensure each corner of your mouth has been cleaned.
Hereditary Gum disease
For those who know that gum disease runs in their family, they must be even more cautious in their oral hygiene. Knowing your family oral history may help to manage your own oral health.
Remedy: If gum disease does run in your family, tell your dentist. They can offer expert council about how best to care for your teeth daily to prevent issues from showing up. Brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthwash daily is essential in fighting against the bacteria that irritates gum tissues and cause destruction.
If you’re a smoker
The toxins found in cigarettes are extremely destructive and weaken the gum tissues which can cause discoloration, swelling, and bleeding in gums. In addition, once gums are exposed to such harmful toxins, bacteria found in the mouth are more able to enter the gums and into the bloodstream. This can cause further irritation, bleeding, swelling, and infection.
Remedy: Quitting smoking is the only way to completely rid you of cigarette toxins and allow your gum tissues to rebuild and become healthy again. In addition to this, brushing and flossing twice daily is important to keep harmful bacteria from attacking weakened gum tissues. Speak to both your health care and dental professionals about smoking cessation programs that can help you kick cigarettes for good and for your overall health.
Finally, regular professional cleanings from your dental professional are essential even if your oral hygiene techniques are good. Professional cleanings offer a deep clean and can eradicate plaque and difficult tartar that you may not be able to reach or were unaware was there. It’s important to keep in mind that gum disease is not the end of your oral health. Most of the time it can be reversed if treated at the right time and, with proper oral hygiene and dental professional care it can be eradicated. Call your dentist today to set up an appointment to discuss your oral health concerns and to have a check up.