Oral Health Buzz
Five Ways to Stop Bleeding Gums
As you brush your teeth, you might notice a bit of redness around your gums. While you might be tempted to ignore the blood, bleeding gums is an early sign of gum disease, according to the National Library of Medicine. The bleeding is due to inflammation in the gums caused by build-up plaque or overly vigorous brushing. If you notice some blood when you brush or floss, it is essential that you see a dentist. There are also some things you can do on your own to stop bleeding gums.
Eat a Healthier Diet
Improving your diet can go a long way toward improving your oral health and stopping bleeding gums. A diet full of whole foods, such as vegetables and fruits, gives your gums the nutrients they need. If your diet is packed with nutritionally deficient, sugary foods, such as candy, soda and refined breads, your gums aren't getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy and intact. An article on The Dr. Oz Show blog recommends boosting the amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium in your diet to improve the state of your gums.
Improve Your Dental Care Routine
Taking good care of your mouth at home can also help stop bleeding gums. Brushing and flossing regularly removes bacteria from the mouth that can inflame your gums, and using the right devices and brushing properly can also help improve the overall health of your mouth and reverse early gum disease. For example, a medium- or firm-bristled toothbrush can be damaging to the gums when pressure is applied during toothbrushing. Instead, choose a soft-bristled brush, such as the Colgate® 360°® toothbrush. Brush gently, using short strokes, to effective brush the teeth and gum line.
If you're always on the go or always up against a deadline, the amount of stress in your life could be causing your gums to bleed. High levels of stress can affect your oral health in a number of ways. First, stress increases inflammation in your body, which makes your gums more likely to bleed. Too much stress also reduces your immune system's functionality, making it more difficult for your body to fight infection and to heal. A 2006 study, published in the Journal of Periodontology, found that women with stress-related depression had higher levels of inflammation in the gums and increases levels of plaque buildup.
When you're stressed out, you're also less likely to take good care of yourself. That might mean you skip brushing or flossing or choose to eat fast food instead of a balanced meal. Reduce stress in your life by learning to say no to projects when you have too much on your plate and by taking a few minutes to breathe in and out when you start to feel overwhelmed.
Smoking is terrible for your health. Along with increasing your risk for certain cancers and heart disease, it plays a big role in the development of gum disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. The toxins in tobacco smoke keep your gums from getting the nutrition that they need, and can lead to inflammation. Quitting can be tough, but it's one of the most important things to do if you want to protect your oral and overall health.
Gum disease and bleeding gums are contagious. If your partner has a lot of bacteria in his or her mouth, then you're likely increasing your risk for gum problems. Avoid sharing anything that comes into contact with another person's mouth, from toothbrushes to water glasses.
Seeing your dentist for an examination and teeth cleaning on a regular basis is essential to putting an end to bleeding gums and to treating gum disease before it becomes a major issue. If it's been a while since you've seen your dentist and you've noticed a bit of blood when you brush, make an appointment today. Getting the issue diagnosed and making the necessary changes will help improve the health of your mouth considerably.
Learn more about gum disease in the Colgate Oral Care resources.
Source: Flickr/AJ Cann