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How To Prevent Bleeding Gums

15th March 2023

Spitting into the sink after brushing and flossing and seeing a splash of blood is never a nice revelation or feeling. Bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease, and left unchecked, this could progress into a more serious condition called periodontal disease, which destroys your gum and jawbone.

how to prevent bleeding gums
Seeing blood in the sink after you brush or floss means it’s time to visit the hygienist.

Practice good oral hygiene

Everyone should have a morning and evening oral hygiene routine, to ensure the plaque along the gum line is removed. Even just one missed brushing and flossing session can result in a sticky substance forming over your teeth (biofilm, AKA plaque), and eventually, multiple missed brushing sessions will lead to inflamed gums, and as a consequence, bleeding gums. If you find it hard to floss, use interdental brushes, which allow for more dexterity when removing bacteria between each tooth.

Quit smoking

In the 21st century, virtually everyone knows and understands the harm smoking can cause. However, one of the less well-known facts about smoking is that nicotine cuts off the blood supply to the gums. This means smokers might not experience bleeding gums as an initial warning sign of gum disease until the disease progresses and causes more severe bleeding. If there’s anything you take away from this list, let it be this tip, as quitting will instantly improve your oral health, helping to prevent gum disease.

Increase your intake of vitamin C

Research has shown that low vitamin C levels in the bloodstream were associated with an elevated risk for bleeding gums. With this in mind, if you smoke (which reduces the absorption of vitamin C), or you have a diet low in vitamin C, we recommend reducing (or quitting) your cigarette usage, and introducing vitamin-rich food and drink into your diet. This will reduce the likelihood of your gums bleeding.

Rinse your mouth with salt water

As a natural disinfectant, salt water can remove debris that lingers in between your teeth and gums and soothe some of the swelling caused by gum disease. Whilst this isn’t a substitute for visiting the dentist and having a good brushing and flossing routine, it can bolster an already-good anti-gum disease routine.

Use mouthwash

Antibacterial mouthwashes are specially formulated to target gum disease-causing bacteria. Make sure you opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash, as the presence of alcohol may dry out the mouth and cause further gum irritation. Dentist-recommended brand Corsodyl offer a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine digluconate, which is proven to reduce symptoms like bleeding gums and inflammation.

Use the right toothbrush

Using a manual toothbrush could be putting your gums at risk of problems for multiple reasons. Manual toothbrushes (particularly those with hard bristles) are not as effective as electric brushes at cleaning your teeth. They can also be quite destructive, particularly if you brush your teeth vigorously.

Swapping to an electric toothbrush with an oscillating head will ensure your tooth surfaces are gently and thoroughly brushed. Research has shown that patients with an electric toothbrush had healthier teeth and gums, compared with the sample of people tested as part of the study who owned a manual brush. Electric toothbrush heads move side to side, and don’t require the user to apply back-and-forth manual movement across their teeth. The movement of the bristles is extremely effective at removing the biofilm that would otherwise cause symptoms like bleeding gums.

If you’re not brushing twice a day yet, using a manual or electric toothbrush to do this as a starting point is a great habit to instil.

Flossing every day

Flossing at least once a day is necessary if you want to make sure you maintain fresh breath. It’s also essential for stopping the lodged bacteria in-between your teeth from causing bleeding. Flossing disrupts plaque and tartar settling in the tiny gaps in your teeth, and would otherwise irritate your gums, as it contains bacteria that your mouth registers as toxic. By getting rid of this bacteria, your gums won’t be as prone to bleeding.

If you’re new to using dental floss, some small amount of bleeding is normal. However, if this persists after a week of flossing every day, you might need to see a hygienist to check you over for gum disease.

Avoid starchy and sugary foods

A little bit of sugar and starch is passable, in moderation. However, regularly eating starchy and sugary foods (and failing to sip on water afterwards), could eventually become bad news for your gums. Starchy foods like bread, especially bagels and doughier breads, stick to your gums and are then broken down into sugar. Not only does this increase your risk of decay, but the sugars can also cause plaque, which then inflames the gums and causes them to bleed.

bleeding gums

Eating gum-healthy food and drink

Just like you nourish your stomach with healthy food and drink to power your body, you need to consider the sustenance that will be kind to your gums.

Omega-3: foods rich in Omega-3 have anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe painful gums. Such foods include oily fish and macadamia nuts.

Green tea: rich in catechin, green tea contains antibacterial powers that weaken the bacteria within plaque. This reduces the deteriorating effects gum disease can have on your oral health, reducing symptoms like bleeding gums.

Probiotics: in recent years, studies have found that prebiotics create their own biofilm that protects the tissues in your mouth from pathogenic bacteria. Like cheese, they also lower the pH level in the mouth, which means plaque bacteria has to work harder to stick to your teeth and gum line.

CoQ10: food that is rich in the nutrient CoQ10 is also contained within human cells. It’s a nutrient that contains intercellular antioxidants, which fight the early onset of gum disease, and even advanced periodontitis. You can find it in organ meats like kidney and liver, meats including chicken and beef, and fatty fish.

Contact Innovadent for Hygienist Appointments

Keep your mouth healthy by coming in for routine hygienist appointments with us here at Innovadent. With regular professional cleaning, you can maintain good oral health as we will remove plaque from your gum line, stopping it from compromising your gum health by causing periodontal disease. Book your hygienist appointment with us today by visiting this page.

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  • location Innovadent Dental Clinic
  • 3 Limeharbour
  • London
  • E14 9LS
Google Rating