Bleeding Gums (Gingivitis): Causes, Treatments & Remedies
Bleeding gums refers to a clinical state in which the gums appear swollen and often bleed during brushing your teeth or eating rough food. The causes for bleeding gums may be due to poor oral hygiene, but may also be indicative of other health conditions like pregnancy, vitamin deficiency, scurvy, leukemia or many other kinds of infections. This condition can be prevented by easily available home remedies that are easy to follow and can result in an improved dental condition within a matter of weeks. Although, if home remedies don’t seem to work, then you may have to see a doctor.
Bleeding Gums, in simple terms, means regular bleeding of the gums. It can occasionally be an indication of some serious ailments like platelet disorder or leukemia. If not taken care of properly, it may lead to gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. Luckily, it is reversible and can be cured via simple and easy home remedies as well as maintaining proper hygienic health of your mouth.
According to MedlinePlus, bleeding gums may be caused by a vitamin deficiency, scurvy, hormonal changes from pregnancy, leukemia, many kinds of infections, or brushing your teeth too hard. We have discussed them in detail below:
Gingivitis: When plaque stays on the lining of the gum for too long, gingivitis occurs. Plaque is the left-over food and bacteria that remains on the teeth when you don’t brush properly or regularly. It accumulates on the gum line and gives birth to gingivitis, which causes bleeding gums.
Periodontitis: When gingivitis reaches an advanced stage, periodontitis occurs. It is an infection of the gums, jawbone, and the soft tissues that surround the teeth. This condition can also lead to bleeding gums.
Vitamin Deficiencies: Vitamin C and K deficiencies can easily become the number one cause of bleeding gums. This is a deficiency which is very common in children and adults living in underdeveloped or developing countries. If your dentist tells you that you have healthy teeth and you are still experiencing bleeding gums, then you can fairly (by means of tests) attribute it to a vitamin deficiency.
Gum ailments can often times be painless and therefore it is important that you keep on a look out for the following symptoms:
- Swelling of the gums
- Tender and redness of the gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Foul taste in the mouth
- Loosening of teeth
- Pus formation around the teeth and gum
- Blood in the saliva
- Bleeding while brushing your teeth or while spitting
If you’re taking the regular precautions of brushing properly, flossing, getting your dentures aligned (if you’re wearing them) and keeping a good hygiene about it, and still have bleeding gums, then here are some treatments that you may require:
- Go to the dentist to get rid of all the plaque that has accumulated on your teeth. This is the most basic treatment. As plaque grows into tartar, which is a very sticky and hard substance that gets attached to your teeth, and turns into an infection, it needs to be removed.
- Another treatment option is scaling. This will help in slowing down the process of any gum disease.
- If you are suffering from severe form of periodontal disease, you will have to undergo a periodontal therapy.
- Depending upon the severity, you might even need a dental surgery to stop the bleeding.
- Take vitamin supplements, as prescribed the doctor
Home Remedies for Bleeding Gums
There are several home remedies that can be practiced regularly to prevent or treat gum bleeding. They include consuming citrus fruits, milk, raw vegetables, baking soda, cloves, clove oil, sage, peppermint oil, calendula leaf tea, chamomile tea, saline, and massaging gums. Also, you should avoid smoking and eating fatty foods
Citrus Fruits: One of the major reasons for bleeding gums is a deficiency of Vitamin C. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, as well as vegetables, especially broccoli and cabbage, can prevent you from bleeding gums by providing adequate amounts of vitamin C.
Milk: Milk is also a rich source of calcium, which constantly needs to be replenished to strengthen your gums. Therefore, milk should be drunk on a regular basis for preventing bleeding gums.
Avoid Smoking: Smoking makes the mouth conditions anaerobic, which favor the growth of certain bacteria. Therefore, you should avoid smoking in order to keep your mouth free of bacteria.
Raw Vegetables: Chewing raw vegetables cleans the teeth and induces blood circulation in gums. Therefore, you should add some raw vegetables to your diet every day.
Cranberry and Wheatgrass Juice: Cranberry juice or wheatgrass juice can give relief to those who have bleeding gums. Cranberry juice can do the same by exerting its antibacterial properties to clean the gums of excess bacteria.
Baking Soda: Baking soda kills bacteria by making the microenvironment of the mouth acidic, and can be applied on the gums with your fingers.
Cloves: Cloves can either be kept in the mouth, chewed slowly, or clove oil can be rubbed on the gums. This has been an age old and easy home remedy for all kinds of dental problem, particularly bleeding gums.
Sage and Peppermint Oil: Brushing your teeth with both peppermint and sage oil can be used, since these keep your mouth refreshing and clean.
Calendula Leaf and Chamomile Tea: Tea prepared from leaves of calendula and chamomile can give relief from bleeding of gums.
Saline: You can gargle after brushing your teeth with lukewarm water with a pinch of salt added to it. This is a good home remedy to treat bleeding gums.
Massage: Gently massaging the gums with your fingers after brushing your teeth results in good blood circulation. This strengthens the gums and prevents them from bleeding.
Avoid Fatty Foods: Fatty, spicy and heavy diets contain foods that get deposited in teeth cavities and provides food sources for unhealthy microbes. This subsequently leads to bleeding gums or even gingivitis. If you suffer from bleeding gums, you should avoid fatty foods as much as possible.
According to the University of Iowa Health Care, brushing and flossing should be done to prevent plaque deposition. Furthermore, regular check-ups and plaque removal should be done every 6 months by the dentist. Maintaining hygienic conditions in parts of your mouth will not only reduce the bleeding of your gums, but it will also prevent dental problems like periodontitis and gingivitis. It must be kept in mind that braces should not be tight and should fit in correctly, because that strain can also lead to bleeding gums.