While it is not uncommon to see a bit of blood when you brush or floss your teeth, it should not be ignored. There are multiple reasons why your gums could be bleeding, and there are steps you can take to help solve the problem.
1. Practice good dental hygiene.
If your gums are bleeding regularly, this could be a sign of poor dental hygiene. Your gums will bleed and become irritated when plaque builds up along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film that contains millions of bacteria and can cause tooth decay and gum disease. In order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, it is crucial that you practice good dental hygiene, which includes brushing at least twice a day for 2-minutes each time and flossing at least once a day.
2. Increase your vitamin intake.
If your body is trying to fight off some sort of gum infection that is causing the bleeding, you can help strengthen your immune system by increasing your vitamin C intake. Try eating vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, and kiwi. There are also over-the-counter vitamin C supplements you could try. Another vitamin that can help with bleeding gums is vitamin K. Vitamin K has been known to help your blood clot, and a deficiency in this vitamin can cause easy bleeding, including gum bleeding. In addition to vitamin K supplements, you could try eating foods such as spinach, collard greens, and kale to boost your vitamin K intake.
3. Rinse your mouth.
If your gums are bleeding because of gingivitis or gum disease, rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help reduce bacteria and inflammation and stop the bleeding. Similarly, if your gums are bleeding because of some sort of injury, rinsing with saltwater will help clean out your mouth and prevent infection. Simply add a small spoonful of salt to a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth for 5-10 seconds.
4. Change your toothbrush.
It’s a common misconception that hard, firm bristles on your toothbrush will clean your teeth more thoroughly. Actually, the American Dental Association recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush which will still adequately clean your teeth without irritating your gums. If you practice good dental hygiene but you still see blood when you brush your teeth, consider changing your toothbrush.
5. Visit your dentist.
If you try these practices and still have bleeding gums, or if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, make an appointment with us at Cornerstone Family Dentistry as soon as possible. We will examine your teeth and gums and identify the problem. In addition, make sure you are seeing us twice a year for a dental cleaning and checkup. More than likely, we will be able to identify any potential problems before they’ve even started.