It is not unusual to find traces of blood on your toothbrush every once in a while. There can be many reasons. Firstly, it can be the excessive force you applied during brushing. Secondly, it can be because of gingivitis, a very common gum disease that nearly half of Americans suffers from. As a matter of fact, bleeding gums are so common that people hardly consider it a problem or issue. Unfortunately, this is what leads to more severe oral health problems.
Bleeding gums, although common, can indicate a more serious oral health issue. It is important to seek medical health regardless of how minor the bleeding problem seems. To give you a general idea of what can be causing your gums to bleed here is a list of some of the most usual causes of bleeding gums.
One of the major causes of bleeding gums is an improper oral hygiene regimen. Our teeth are required to be properly cleaned at least twice a day, especially before going to bed. Otherwise, bacteria will start to accumulate on the surface of gums and teeth. This may result in inflammation or infection of gums and cause them to bleed. Affected gums are likely to bleed when force is applied during brushing and flossing.
Our diet can greatly influence the health of our gums. Deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals may weaken the defense system of our teeth leaving them more prone to diseases and decay. Raw vegetables such as carrots are extremely beneficial for oral health while red meat is known for causing inflammation.
Moreover, when we eat food that contains a high amount of sugar, it forms a layer on the surface of our teeth. This can cause tartar and plaque build-up that leads to gum diseases.
Bleeding gums are the earliest symptoms of gum diseases including gingivitis and periodontitis. Therefore, the problem must not be taken lightly. Timely treatment can help you avoid more expensive and invasive surgeries later on. A number of dentists maintain that almost everyone suffers from some extent of gingivitis i.e. gum inflammation. If left untreated, it can turn into periodontitis, a more severe condition. In any case, bleeding and redness of gums is very common.
Hormonal changes in our body can also cause gums to bleed. Fluctuations in our hormonal level can increase the blood flow to the gums. This is also one of the reasons why women’s gums tend to become more sensitive during pregnancy. Yet, it is not just in case of pregnancy. Any kind of hormonal shift can cause this problem. Responding to this issue can actually help you identify and diagnose your hormonal problem before it’s too late.
Sometimes, bleeding gums can also be caused by some kind of bleeding disorder such as ITP. In ITP, the consistency of the patient’s blood is very runny due to low platelet count. Such patients experience frequent nosebleeds and bleeding gums regardless of how well you take care of your oral health. Your dentist can help you identify this disease and will be able to refer you to a proper specialist.
Just like ITP, there are many other diseases that can cause frequent, often unexplained bleeding of gums. One of the foremost culprits is diabetes. Diabetes is not only one of the leading cause of oral health issues, it also a disease that hinders the treatment and recovery process. While some diseases have direct impact, others might involve medications that trigger bleeding gums e.g. blood thinners.
In any case, an experienced and qualified professional dentist can help you identify the cause and treatment for your bleeding gum problem.
This guest post was contributed by Kevin Kerfoot. He writes about health, nutrition, oral hygiene and skin care for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletter.