What Causes Bleeding Gums?
There are many reasons why gums bleed, some serious, and some a result of rough treatment or disease. If you don’t have a regular brushing routine and brush and floss correctly, your gums may bleed when you start a more regular routine. Brushing and flossing remove some plaque, but any left behind builds up on teeth at the gum line and hardens into tartar which may inflame the nearby gums and cause bleeding or gingivitis.
Using the correct toothbrush, neither too hard nor too soft, is important in keeping gums healthy. Flossing correctly and regularly is also helpful in keeping the plaque to a minimum. Bad habits like smoking is also an irritant to the gums and can contribute to disease. Smoke weakens your immune system and fighting off gum infections is not as effective.
Some medications such as blood thinners, anti-seizure drugs, and blood pressure drugs, can all lead to bleeding gums. Antidepressants and antihistamines can cause dry mouth which also leads to gum disease.
Stress plays a major role in health issues in the body and the teeth. During stressful situations, your body makes chemicals that lead to body-wide inflammation and gum disease. We all deal with stress differently. Eating comfort foods (i.e. sugary desserts), drinking alcohol, or smoking may be great stress-relievers, but they take their toll on your health and only temporarily relieve the stress. This approach encourages the growth of bad bacteria in your mouth.
If a mouth appliance or dentures don’t fit, the result can be rubbing on the gums that causes pain and possibly bleeding. Anytime a breech in gum tissue occurs, bad bacteria can enter and cause disease.
Healthy gums are pink and firm. If your gums become red, puffy/swollen, tender to the touch or blood starts appearing frequently in the sink when brushing, chances are you may have gingivitis. Ignoring it at this stage can cause gums to pull away from your teeth where bacteria can cause a serious infection. Practice good oral hygiene and take preventive measures at the first sign of trouble.