Bleeding gums is a very common occurrence, especially after flossing your teeth. However, it’s not something that should be ignored. At Best Natural Smile, we want to ensure you and your family have healthy teeth and gums. Our Santa Monica dentistry is here to not only treat your teeth, but to make sure you know all you can about positive oral health.
Causes of Bleeding Gums
There are many things that can cause your gums to bleed and none of them should be ignored. The most common cause of bleeding games is periodontal disease, specifically gingivitis and its more serious counterpart, periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that occurs when the bacteria in the plaque on your teeth attack your healthy gums. You get plaque when you don’t brush properly after meals and the leftover food and saliva mix to form a sticky material that coats your teeth. When you get gingivitis, your gums become red, inflamed...and bleed. Gingivitis is usually painless and your bleeding gums might be the only symptom. Gingivitis can be treated and cured, but if you don’t treat it, your gingivitis can turn into periodontitis.
When the plaque hardens into tartar, you’ve developed periodontitis. The plaque causes your gums to separate from your teeth and pockets can form between the gums and the teeth which can become infected. This infection can destroy bones and gum tissue and, eventually, cause tooth loss. Gum Disease can affect your overall health and has been linked to more serious conditions including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
How To Treat Your Bleeding Gums
If you’re having continuous gum problems, here are some things you can try to stop the bleeding.
- Best Brushing. Be sure that you follow the recommended brushing schedule, at least twice a day for at least two minutes using a gentle fluoride toothpaste. Technique is important, too. Ask your family dentistry staff at Best Natural Smile for details on how to brush to best remove plaque.
- Keep Flossing Every Day. Even if your gums bleed when you floss, it’s important to keep flossing every day, twice a day, if possible. It may take up to two weeks after you start flossing for your gums to respond to your new flossing habits. As long as the bleeding stops quickly, you don’t need to be concerned.
- Use a Mouth Rinse Daily. Using an antiseptic mouthwash will help kill the bacteria that causes that plaque to develop and, eventually, gum disease. If your gums are infected, it can also help kill the bacteria and keep the infection from spreading down into the roots of your teeth. If you would rather not purchase a mouth rinse at the store, you can always use a homemade mouth rinse made of salt and water.
- Eat Healthy. Maintaining a diet full of vitamin C and calcium will help diminish the possibility of getting gum disease. A healthy diet also gives you strong, teeth that are less likely to decay.
- Increase Water Intake. When you drink plenty of water, especially after eating, you will be rinsing off the food particles and bacteria from your teeth which will reduce the chances of the bacteria creating plaque.
- Stop smoking. According to the American Dental Association, using tobacco increases your risk of developing periodontal disease. Another great reason to stop smoking.
- Stay Calm. When you’re anxious, nervous or worried, your body automatically produces more of the hormone cortisol to help you cope. Cortisol increases the chance of swelling in your body, including your gums.
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See Your Dentist In Santa Monica Soon
Our dentist recommend you visit your Santa Monica dentistry every six months for regular exams and cleanings. If your gums continue bleeding when flossing for several weeks, make an appointment and ask one of our expert to examine and diagnose the cause. In the meantime, be careful when eating or drinking extremely hot or cold foods or drinks.