Bleeding gums are the most often symptom of gum disease. But it can also point to other health problems. Occasional bleeding of the gums can be caused by brushing your teeth too vigorously or wearing dentures that don’t fit correctly. Inadequate plaque removal can also be a contributing factor to bleeding gums. Plaque contains germs which attack the healthy tissue around the teeth. This attack on the tissue causes irritation and inflammation, which will lead to bleeding during brushing or flossing.This is called Gingivitis, and is the first stage of gum disease. Bleeding gums can happen for a number of reasons, from gingivitis to a side effect of pregnancy. Gingivitis is usually a painless condition and bleeding gums may be the only symptom. Therefore, it is expedient you know some of the signs and symptoms of gingivitis:
- Swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums
- Gums that recede or move away from the tooth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
- Loose teeth
- Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums
When still at this stage, the disease can be treated and completely reversed. So it is important not to ignore your bleeding gums.
There are three stages of bleeding gum disease and they are
- Gingivitis, which is the primary stage of gum disease
- Periodontitis- can cause tooth loss and of course, the overall health of your body
- Advanced periodontitis- This is when it gets chronic, and can result in extreme bad breath and of course, mess with the overall health of your body.
Causes and risk factors of bleeding gums
The most common cause of bleeding gums as you already know is a buildup of plaque (food and bacteria) on the teeth. The bacteria and the toxins they release then infect and irritate the gums, making them tender and swollen.
However, below are the risk factors of bleeding gums
- Poor oral hygiene
- Old age
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Low immunity(specifically in people with HIV)
- Having a genetic risk
- Taking certain drugs, such as some birth control pills, antidepressants, and heart medications
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- Mouth appliances that fit poorly, such as braces or dentures
- Having another disease, such as heart disease, diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis
- Poor diet
If your bleeding gum problems is not gingivitis, still don’t ignore it. Bleeding gums can also be caused by bleeding disorders, leukemia, vitamin K deficiency, hormonal changes, scurvy or the use of blood thinners. If you notice bleeding from your gums, your next port of call should be at your doctor or dentist’s place to ascertain the cause of the problem.
Natural remedy for bleeding gums
- Try a homemade mouthwash
Homemade mouthwash can be helpful in fighting the bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease. They can also help relieve gum swelling and tenderness. A saltwater rinse is the easiest to come by. Salt, because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties can help reduce the swelling and also, combat infections that cause bleeding gums. A saltwater rinse can kill bacteria and help get food out of your mouth. It can also speed up the healing of your gums All you need for this is salt and warm water.
How to use: Mix ½ to ¾ teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water.
Swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for 30 seconds, then spit it out.
Do this at least two or three times each day
- Oil pulling
Oil pulling is a process of swishing some oil in your mouth to help fight infections that cause your gums to bleed. Rinse with coconut oil or sesame oil to ensure that your mouth is wary of harmful bacterial growth. Oil pulling is believed to be more effective than flossing. It usually comes in handy when you are having difficulties brushing or flossing.
How to use: Take a tablespoon of coconut oil or sesame oil(depending on the one you prefer) and put carefully in your gum, Swish it in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes.
Spit it out. Rinse your mouth with water or saltwater.
Brush as normal.
Repeat the oil pulling three to five times per week.
- Brush and floss properly
If you do brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly, and your gum still bleeds. Then, your toothbrush or your oral hygiene tools might just be be what’s causing your gums bleed.
This is why the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends using a toothbrush with soft bristles, which cleans your teeth and gums thoroughly without irritation. Although it might seem that a toothbrush with medium or firm bristles cleans your teeth and gums more deeply or thoroughly, harder bristles usually just cause irritation, which can also be why your gums are bleeding.
How to brush:Brush at least twice each day using a soft-bristled brush. Replace the brush every three to four months.
Hold the brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums.
Gently push the brush back and forth in short strokes.
Clean all areas of your teeth. Tilt the brush vertically to brush the inside surfaces of your front teeth.
Floss every day to remove food and bacteria that get stuck between your teeth.
Use 1.5 feet of floss and wrap the ends around your middle fingers.
Slide it in between your teeth and hold it in a “C” shape.
Saw back and forth and side to side as you pull up
- Try honey
Raw honey has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to get your gums of the bacteria that can cause bleeding gums.
How to use: Take some raw honey on your massage on your gums gently. Leave it for 5 minutes, and rinse off with warm water. Make sure you do this regularly
- Check Tumeric
Turmeric has reputation for healing infections; thanks to its therapeutic properties. Its curcumin component is believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that help stop the gums from bleeding.
How to use: Mix Tumeric and mustard oil and massage into your gums. Leave it for sometime. Rinse off properly with warm water.
While you do all you can to get rid of gingivitis, it is also expedient you check what you eat and when you eat it. Food that contain simple carbohydrates and lots of sugar increase your risk of bleeding gums, as sugar creates an environment suitable for plaques to form. A well-balanced diet may supply you with enough vitamins and minerals to have good oral health.