Everyone’s gums bleed at some point in their lives and for a variety of reasons – but it can still a little alarming if we spit blood after brushing our teeth.
Bleeding gums are primarily caused by the build up of plaque at the gum line. If plaque is not removed through regular brushing it will harden into what is known as tartar. Tartar forms after about 12 days and cannot be removed by brushing or flossing. Removing tartar (calculus) will require an expensive trip to your local dental hygienist otherwise you could see increased bleeding and develop a more advanced form of gum and jawbone disease.
Pregnancy is a common cause of gum bleeding among women. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause the gums to become more sensitive.
Deficiencies of vitamins C and K can also cause gums to bleed easily.
Foods rich in vitamin C include:
- bell peppers
- citrus fruits and juices
Foods rich in vitamin K include:
- canola oil
- olive oil
Good dental hygiene is the road to healthy gums that don’t bleed. Having a good brushing and flossing technique helps reduce the plaque from your gum line. You should also visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning.
A rinse of warm salt water can help soothe swollen gums that bleed easily; alternatively you could try an antiseptic mouthwash to minimize the plaque that forms in your mouth.
Use a soft toothbrush that is gentle on inflamed gums, especially if you experience bleeding after brushing your teeth. Medium and hard bristles may be too abrasive for your delicate gums. You might also consider using an electric toothbrush, check out my reviews of the best electric toothbrushes. The brush heads on these toothbrushes are specially designed to help you to clean your gum line more easily than a manual toothbrush.
If you gums are swollen, discoloured, sore or bleed when you brush, you really do need to be seeing your dentist, dental problems creep up on us slowly (but surely if we let them) – don’t let a small problem develop into a big problem.