Do you ever notice your gums bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth? Bleeding gums may have many causes, ranging from the wrong brushing technique to a more serious condition, such as gum disease. Bleeding gums are not in itself dangerous, but the underlying condition causing this symptom may be. Here is a list of some possible causes of bleeding gums.
The main cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque at the gumline. If not removed, this condition eventually evolves into gingivitis or inflamed gums, where gums become swollen, tender and bleed during brushing or flossing. If not treated, gingivitis can lead to gum disease, which is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults.
2. Brushing too hard
Vigorously brushing your teeth does not clean your teeth better, instead puts you at risk of developing gum recession and bleeding gums. Adjust your brushing technique and use a soft-bristled toothbrush when brushing your teeth.
3. Wearing dentures that fit incorrectly
Dentures that do not fit properly can cause gum bleeding if they scratch your gums and cause sores. People who do not take out their dentures at night may be especially prone to bleeding gums. In addition, if you wear dentures, it is especially important to brush your teeth and clean your dentures well to prevent plaque buildup and gum inflammation.
About half of pregnant women experience swollen, red, tender gums that bleed during brushing or flossing. This happens because hormonal changes during pregnancy alter the body's response to bacteria that causes gum disease. Take care of your gums and teeth during pregnancy by practicing good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing daily.
5. Poor diet
Some ingredients in processed food can irritate the gums and cause them to bleed. Avoid processed and sugary food, and opt for a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, and food rich in calcium, vitamins A, K and C, and magnesium.
6. Health problems
Gum bleeding is more common in patient with certain health problems, such as liver disease, blood clotting disorders, anemia, leukemia, and temporal arteritis.
7. Blood thinning medications
Blood thinning medications reduce blood's ability to clot, which can result in easier bleeding. This can be a concern for dental procedures that cause bleeding (e.g. deep cleaning, extractions, and dental implant placement). Thus, you should always tell your dentist if you are taking blood thinning medications at every dental visit.
If you are experiencing bleeding gums, it is important to see your dentist to find out what exactly is causing your gums to bleed. Call our office at (925) 705-7093 and schedule a check-up.