Why do our gums bleed and how do we stop it?

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Bleeding gums affect us all at some point in our lives. There are many different causes of bleeding gums, some preventable and some inevitable. If you are concerned with the state of your gums and want to stop them bleeding, keep on reading to understand why our gums bleed and how to stop them!

CAUSES:

1) GUM DISEASE: The most common cause of bleeding gums is gum disease. Our gums are very sensitive to plaque and the bacteria in it, and become inflamed and irritated if not cleaned properly. If plaque is not removed on a daily basis with a toothbrush, our gums become swollen and sore. This is what we dentists call Gingivitis.

2) PREGNANCY: Pregnancy can cause havoc on our hormones and as a result our gums. Pregnant patients will complain of bleeding and sore gums especially during their first and second trimesters. If this is the case, make sure you are still brushing your teeth (don't be put off by the blood!) and see the hygienist regularly.

3) ROUTINE CHANGE: If you change your hygiene routine, sometimes the gums can react for the first few days. For example if you use a new toothbrush head, if you incorporate flossing into your regime, or you make that switch from a manual toothbrush to an electric one. Do not be alarmed! Continue brushing/ flossing and if the bleeding doesn't settle down after a week, visit your dentist. 

4) MEDICATIONS: There are certain medications that can affect your gums drastically and also some medications that can alter how fast or slow you bleed. If you take blood thinners such as warfarin, heparin, rivaroxaban etc then your gums will bleed more as your blood is thinner. There are also certain medications that are known to cause bleeding and inflamed gums. These are phenytoin, ciclosporin and amlodipine. If your doctor has put you on these, make sure your dentist is aware that you are taking these!

5) VITAMIN C AND K DEFICIENCIES: Both vitamin C and K deficiencies can cause bleeding gums as they alter how thin your blood if you are concerned that you may have a deficiency, get a blood test from your GP to rule out anything.

6) MEDICAL CONDITIONS: I once diagnosed a patient with hemophilia because of their excessively bleeding gums. There are times where medical conditions present in the mouth first and are diagnosed by the dentist first. Medical conditions such as hemophilia or some types of leukaemia can cause excessively bleeding gums. If you are concerned, go see a dentist.

What You'll Need

  • Corsodyl Daily Mouthwash

What You'll Do

  • AMP UP YOUR HYGIENE ROUTINE. Make sure you are brushing your teeth (and gums) twice a day for two minutes. This will remove any plaque that builds up every day.
  • SEE THE HYGIENIST. Make sure you give your gums a little TLC with the hygienist. I recommend most people go twice a year unless otherwise recommended by your dentist/ hygienist.
  • Floss every day! Did you know 40% of bacteria and plaque is found BETWEEN the teeth?
  • Corsodyl Daily Mouthwash Rinse. My final tip is adding a mouthwash to your regime. My personal favourite for the gums is corsodyl daily mouthwash (make sure it is the daily one!). Corsodyl is antiseptic, antibacterial, and highly effective at removing plaque. Rinse with this mouthwash once a day at a different time to brushing (for example at lunchtime).
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