Should you worry about bleeding gums?

According to Dirna Grobbelaar, oral hygiene advisor for IVOhealth, bleeding gums should never be considered normal. â??Unless there has been an accidental injury â?? such as from brushing too hard or burning your mouth with a hot drink â?? bleeding gums is evidence that something is not right.â?

What causes bleeding gums?

Grobbelaar says gum disease is not the only cause. â??The Pill, blood thinning medication such as Disprin or Warfarin, bleeding disorders, liver disease, mouth ulcers, cancer, hormonal changes during pregnancy, vitamin deficiencies and dental caries can all cause bleeding gums.â?

However, gum disease is the most common cause. â??When plaque and tartar is left on the teeth, the bacteria present irritate the gums, causing an immune response. The body sends blood to the affected gums which then may bleed when brushing, flossing or even eating.â?

How to remedy bleeding gums

Fortunately, with proper oral care, gum disease is reversible. If left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis, an irreversible condition when the gum, bone and ligaments surrounding the tooth/teeth become damaged and can lead to tooth loss.

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To remedy bleeding gums Grobbelaar recommends a visit to the dentist or oral hygienist as soon as possible, to enable them to professionally diagnose the cause and suggest the most effective treatment options.

Grobbelaar says a meticulous oral hygiene routine is essential to treat gum disease and prevent it from recurring. â??Brush correctly at least twice a day to keep teeth as clean as possible. Use a soft brush and donâ??t be tempted to brush hard â?? this will just further damage the gums.â?

Cleaning in between the teeth needs to be a daily habit. â??If your gums bleed when you use floss, you have gum disease or you are doing it wrong,â? says Grobbelaar. â??If you find flossing awkward or uncomfortable, look for Sunstar GUM interdental products – there is a huge range of tools from floss brushes, floss handles to tiny Soft-Picks. These days there really is an interdental tool for everyone.â?

Rinsing is important, particularly if you have bleeding or sensitive gums. â??Rinse regularly using a lukewarm salt and bicarbonate of soda rinse or Sunstar GUM Paroex treatment mouth rinse which has anti-bacterial properties,â? says Grobbelaar.

For more oral care advice or to ask Dirna Grobbelaar your oral care questions, visit www.ivohealth.co.za

Recommended reading: 3 Tips for improved teeth brushing

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.