By: Dr. Sharanya Srinivasa DMD, ParaDentalCare.info, (201) 864-4700
When you think of oral hygiene, your initial thoughts may be about your teeth. However, your gums play a huge part in your mouth’s health. In some cases, bleeding gums can be the first sign of gum disease. However, there are a few other reasons why your gums may bleed.
It may feel like you need to brush hard to get your teeth clean. However, you should brush gently in small, circular motions. If you are brushing hard, this may be a cause for bleeding gums.
Another reason is that food buildup in your mouth causes plaque (mixture of food debris, bacteria & minerals) and which hardens and turns into tartar/ calculus. Calculus irritates your gums, causing swelling and bleeding. The best way to prevent plaque and tartar buildup is to brush and floss at least twice a day. It is also important to attend your biannual dental check up.
Your diet may also be to blame for your bleeding gums. Diets high in sugar or simple carbohydrates increase the likelihood for dental problems, as sugar creates a breeding ground for the bacteria that is one of the components of plaque.
Other bad habits, such as smoking, can increase your risk for gum disease. Smoking causes gum inflammation. Smoking also lowers your immune response, making it harder for your body to fight off infections and bacteria.
Bleeding gums can also occur during pregnancy, due to pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnancy gingivitis is partly caused by hormonal changes in the body which occur during pregnancy. After giving birth the gingivitis may dissipate.