If you notice that your gums are bleeding when you clean your teeth, don’t panic – it’s a common occurrence that most of us will experience at some point in our lives. Here are some of the possible causes and how to prevent them from recurring.
Don’t stop brushing!
The most likely reason your gums are bleeding is due to inflammation caused by a build-up of plaque along the gumline. This is an early warning sign of gingivitis (early stage gum disease), so leaving it alone is the worst thing you can do. Unfortunately, this is often our first reaction when we notice bleeding – a survey commissioned by the Oral Health Foundation found that nearly one in five people (19%) immediately stop brushing the bleeding area and nearly one in ten (8%) stop brushing completely. Instead, step up your oral hygiene routine by:
- Brushing twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing or using interdental brushes to clean between your teeth at least once a day.
- Rinsing before you brush with a fluoride mouthwash.
- Eating a healthy diet full of gum-friendly foods.
- Keeping regular hygienist appointments so your hygienist can remove plaque and tartar that can’t be removed through brushing alone.
Know your risk factors
If you are maintaining an excellent oral health care regime, it’s possible that your gums are bleeding for other reasons, including:
Trauma/Injury – Have you injured your gum tissue or are you brushing too hard? If the bristles on your toothbrush are worn or frayed after a short time you may be brushing too aggressively – choose a softer bristled toothbrush to avoid bleeding and keep your teeth’s natural layer of protection intact.
Pregnancy – Hormonal changes can make the gums more vulnerable to inflammation and bleeding during pregnancy (a condition often known as pregnancy gingivitis). Maintaining an effective oral hygiene routine and visiting the dentist for regular check-ups is particularly important for pregnant women.
Dietary deficiency – If your immune system is run down and you are lacking vital nutrients in your diet, you may be more prone to the infections that cause bleeding gums. Make sure you follow a diet rich in vitamin C (such as citrus fruits, red and green peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes) and take a vitamin C supplement to boost your intake. Foods rich in vitamin K, such as leafy greens, broccoli, and cabbage can also help to alleviate bleeding gums.
Oral hygiene at Cliftonville
Not sure what’s causing your gums to bleed? Here at Cliftonville, we’ve invested in sophisticated technology called the Florida Probe system that detects and diagnoses gum disease quickly and easily. The data it produces is used to create a personalised ‘treatment map’ to address problems before they become more serious. Our skilled dental hygienists will be happy to help you develop an effective oral hygiene regime so you can look after your teeth and gums effectively.
Book your next check-up appointment at Cliftonville today.