When you are brushing and suddenly spitting out blood, you should be concerned. Bleeding gums occur due to a variety of reasons, often inflammation of the gums or gingivitis that can turn into a serious problem if not taken care of in the early stages, requiring more intensive (and expensive) treatment. These are 7 reasons for bleeding gums:
- Gingivitis – If your dental hygiene is not up to the mark, if you don’t brush and floss regularly or don’t adopt correct brushing techniques, bacteria can collect between the gums and teeth. This becomes plaque that should ideally be professionally cleaned. Additionally the bacteria results in inflamed gums that become red and swollen and may be painful to the touch. When you brush your teeth, this can cause bleeding. If you brush and floss twice a day meticulously, you may be able to prevent gingivitis. If you ignore it, it can turn into periodontal disease that can be painful and lead the loss of teeth.
- Brushing too vigorously – in case you use a hard toothbrush and brush very vigorously, the gums can get irritated and inflamed. This too can lead to bleeding gums. It is important to use a medium or soft toothbrush and brush well, but not so hard that you damage your soft gums.
- Flossing – if you floss very hard and use a sharp thread with a sawing motion, it can cause cuts in the gums. Again this can lead to bacterial formation and more bleeding.
- Ill-fitting dentures or loose teeth – these can cause irritation in the gums and inside of your mouth, enabling bacteria to multiply and leading to bleeding gums.
- Cavities – if you have any cavities in any teeth, you need to get fillings done. Sometimes cavities are too small to be seen or felt and when food gets stuck inside, it may not come out with brushing. Once again you will be prone to bacterial infection and when gums get infected, they can bleed.
- Various diseases and medicines – leukemia, immune thrombocytopenia, scurvy, vitamin K deficiency, immunosuppressants, blood thinners and even some anti-seizure medicines are only some of the diseases and medications that can lead to bleeding gums.
- Smoking and hormonal changes during pregnancy (in women) – smoking not only stains teeth but also leaves toxic substances in the mouth that are not easily removed by brushing and flossing. For women, hormonal changes linked to pregnancy or periods can also cause oral problems including bleeding gums.
If you have bleeding gums that do not go away with correct brushing and flossing and regular cleaning, you need to visit your dentist. He or she can give you a check-up and diagnose the reasons for gingivitis and offer treatment or further tests as required. Ideally, you ought to have professional cleaning done on a regular basis, once or twice a year in the very least. Invest in good quality toothbrushes, change the brush every three months, floss regularly and use a non-alcoholic mouthwash after meals when brushing is not an option.