How common is gum disease? More common than you think. According to the CDC, half of Americans have some form of periodontitis.
An inflammatory condition, it affects gum tissue and the bones supporting the teeth. In severe cases, it can lead to tooth loss.
How do you know if you have periodontitis? Chances are, your gums will bleed—especially when you’re brushing your teeth or flossing.
Want to know how to stop bleeding gums? If so, you’re on the right page. We’ll be going over everything that you need to know below.
So be sure to read the rest of the post!
What Causes Your Gums to Bleed?
There are several reasons why your gums might bleed. Aside from periodontal disease, it might be due to brushing too hard, infections, or injuries. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also result in bleeding gums.
Rarely, it might be due to a serious medical condition. For example, it’s not uncommon for leukemia, a type of blood cancer, to cause bleeding from the gums.
Now that we have touched on some of the things that can cause bleeding gums, let’s get into how to treat them.
1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Poor dental hygiene can lead to bleeding gums. This is usually due to a buildup of plaque along the gum line.
For this reason, you want to make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day. You should also floss daily—that way, you’ll be able to remove plaque and food from between your teeth.
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking not only increases your risk of cancer, but it can also lead to severe gum disease. It weakens your immune system so that it’s harder for your body to fight off dental plaque bacteria.
By quitting smoking, you’ll give your gums a chance to heal. With time, the bleeding will also stop.
3. Take More Vitamin C
Foods rich in vitamin C will strengthen your immune system. That way, you’ll be less likely to experience gum infections.
Examples include oranges, red peppers, carrots, and sweet potatoes. You can also take vitamin C supplements.
It’s important to note that vitamin C deficiency, also called scurvy, can also lead to bleeding gums.
4. Rinse Your Mouth with Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is often used as a disinfectant. But did you know that it’s also used in mouthwashes?
Not only will it remove plaque but it’ll also reduce inflammation. In doing so, your gums will be less likely to bleed.
On top of all that, you can use it to treat and prevent gingivitis—a condition that commonly results in bleeding gums. Just make sure not to swallow the solution!
5. Drink Green Tea
Drinking green tea on a regular basis can help prevent periodontal disease. It contains catechin, a natural antioxidant that’s known for reducing inflammation.
As for how much to drink, the recommended amount is three to four cups per day. However, there’s no harm in drinking more.
6. Rinse Your Mouth with Salt Water
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can reduce bacteria in the mouth that causes gum disease. Not only that, but it can bring down inflammation.
If the bleeding is from trauma, the saltwater mixture will also prevent infection by keeping the wound clean.
Simply mix half a teaspoon of salt with a cup of water. Rinse your mouth with the solution for a few seconds before spitting it out.
7. Reduce Your Carb Intake
Studies have shown that reducing your carbohydrate intake can prevent gum disease. This makes sense when you think about it—after all, carbs encourage plaque and bacteria growth.
The more plaque you have on your gums, the more likely they are to bleed. While regular brushing and flossing will prevent it from building up, cutting back on carbs will prevent it from forming altogether.
8. Apply a Cold Compress
Bleeding gums might not be caused by disease. Sometimes, it’s due to injury or trauma to the tissue. For example, your gums might bleed if you eat sharp foods or if you’re flossing too hard.
In cases like that, you’ll want to apply a cold compress to the gum line. It will restrict blood flow, which will stop the bleeding. On top of that, it’ll reduce swelling and inflammation.
For the best results, apply it several times a day, 20 minutes at a time.
9. Use the Right Toothbrush
Toothbrushes are not all the same; some are firmer than others. If you have sensitive gums, opt for something that’s labeled as extra soft. The other varieties will likely be too rough on your gums.
Keep in mind that you should always replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months—possibly sooner if the bristles wear out.
10. Eat More Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and lettuce are great sources of vitamin K. What does that have to do with bleeding gums?
Vitamin K deficiency can impair blood clotting, which can cause your gums to bleed. Other symptoms include easy bruising, excessive bleeding from wounds, and blood in the stool.
Now You Know How to Stop Bleeding Gums
And there we have it—10 tips on how to stop bleeding gums. As you can see, there are several things that you can do. If anything, the most important thing is to practice good oral hygiene every day!
Looking for a dentist in the Chattanooga area? Feel free to contact us to set up an appointment!