Your teeth love a good tooth brushing and flossing session, but that is not the only thing in your mouth that benefits from your attention to good oral care. Your gums, which cushion and support your teeth, are a good indicator of your general health which can let you know when something is off.
Bleeding gums can be a helpful sign that something needs to change with your health. Gum disease is a bacterial infection. Plaque is a film of bacteria and its waste irritate the gum tissue leading to inflammation.
Reasons your gums may be bleeding include:
Infection—your gums may be bleeding because you have gum disease. Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that eventually destroys the bones that support your teeth. This can also increase risk of heart attack and stroke.
Vitamin deficiency—especially vitamin C and K
Anemia—caused by an iron deficiency
Brushing too hard—using a soft bristled brush and gentle, circular motions instead of back and forth sawing can help alleviate this.
Medication—blood thinners (aspirin, ibuprofen) and some blood pressure medication can cause gum inflammation.
Gingivitis—a plaque buildup which doesn’t hurt which also causes bad breath and can be fixed with extra attention to brushing and flossing.
Smoking—the toxins from smoking can irritate the gums and also cause dry mouth which is not good for your gum tissue.
Hormonal Changes—hormonal spike that happen in pregnancy or during menstruation can alter the chemical balance in your mouth which can also affect your gums.
If you are noticing any of these symptoms, or have questions regarding your oral health, we invite you to contact our doctors at 703-241-0666 and let us help you keep your smile healthy and bright!