Do you see flecks of blood while brushing or flossing your teeth? Swollen, red, or tender gums can bleed during your regular oral hygiene routine, even if you feel you are being gentle. It is important that you do not ignore these symptoms as they may indicate a periodontal issue.
Here are four reasons why your gums may be bleeding, and what you can do to prevent it.
Plaque and bacteria can build up on your teeth and become inflamed; yet because bleeding gums are usually painless, this symptom is shrugged off as unimportant. It is likely a sign of early periodontal disease known as gingivitis. The good news is that this condition can be treated and even reversed when caught early. It is also preventable by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily to reduce plaque build-up, and scheduling regular dental examinations and cleanings.
Schedule an appointment with our office or ask for a referral if you suspect you have gingivitis.
Oral Hygiene Habits
If your gums bleed during your regular at-home oral hygiene routine, make sure you are not brushing too vigorously or flossing your gumline too hard. Don’t skip days of brushing and flossing and then make up for it with an overly vigorous cleaning.
Smoking and Periodontal Disease
Inhaling cigarette smoke can leave toxins on the teeth that irritate gums and cause them to bleed. Smoking can also compromise your immune system and prevent gum tissue from healing correctly. Quitting cigarettes can help reduce bleeding gums. If you smoke, be sure to keep up with oral examinations to evaluate your gum health at regular intervals.
Gum Disease and Your Diet
Good nutrition benefits every aspect of your health. Research shows proper oral hygiene along with a balanced diet can reduce the risk of gum problems. Crisp-skinned fruit and crudites (raw vegetables) are particularly good because they clean tooth surfaces and produce saliva. They make excellent, healthy snacks. Foods and beverages high in sugar, starch and acids, however, can cause tooth decay and lead to poor oral health.
For a healthier body, start by paying extra attention to your gums. If they bleed regularly, contact our periodontal office or get a referral. Our Alexandria, VA doctor can provide a complete examination of the gingival tissue and recommend proper treatment.