Gum Health: 7 Ways to End Painful Bleeding
Bleeding gums should never be ignored, as the condition can progress to advanced periodontal disease and tooth loss when left untreated. Consulting with a dental professional when symptoms arise and taking steps to improve your oral hygiene habits is essential in maintaining healthy teeth and gums and improving your overall health.
Professional Dental Cleaning
When bleeding gums are caused by excessive plaque and tartar buildup, a professional dental cleaning is sometimes all that is needed to remedy the issue. While brushing at home is essential in removing plaque and maintaining proper oral hygiene, manual toothbrushes are not strong enough to remove hard tartar deposits that develop on the teeth and below the gum line. In certain cases, a procedure referred to as a "deep cleaning" may be recommended. During the procedure, the dentist utilizes an electronic scaling tool to remove deep tartar deposits that are too far beneath the gum line to be removed during standard dental cleanings.
Daily flossing is one of the easiest ways to prevent gum bleeding caused by early stage gum disease. When plaque develops on the teeth following meals or consumption of sugary beverages, it must be removed within 24 hours to prevent tartar formation. Flossing at least once a day, preferably before bedtime can help stop tartar in its tracks. Flossing also helps remove tiny food particles lodged between the teeth that can contribute to bad breath, gum problems and tooth decay.
Antiseptic rinses that contain alcohol are helpful in keeping harmful plaque-causing bacteria at bay and also help to promote fresh breath. While brushing and flossing are the most important steps in any dental hygiene routine, antiseptic rinses provide an extra layer of protection by eradicating bacteria on contact, which in turn helps reverse the early signs of gingivitis or prevents it altogether.
Improved Brushing Habits
Poor gum health is often attributed to improper brushing habits that allow food particles and plaque to remain between the teeth and beneath the gum line. Brushing the teeth for approximately two minutes helps ensure optimal plaque removal. It is also important to brush the front and back of each tooth. To ensure you brush for at least two minutes, set a timer prior to brushing. There are also over-the-counter electric toothbrushes available that feature built-in timers that can help you stay on track with your brushing habits.
Salt Water Rinses
Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water three times a day is recommended for individuals with early-stage gingivitis and those who are recovering from deep cleaning procedures. Salt naturally helps reduce swelling that sometimes accompanies bleeding gums by pulling fluid from the gum tissues and also works as a natural disinfectant to prevent bacterial buildup.
Hydrogen Peroxide Oral Rinses
Hydrogen peroxide contains natural ingredients that work well to disinfect and fight bacteria. Many over-the-counter mouthwashes contain hydrogen peroxide, and you can also make your own homemade solution by mixing one part 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with one part water. It is always best to consult with a dental professional prior to using any type of peroxide rinse, as the ingredients may exacerbate tooth sensitivity or existing oral conditions.
Raw Vegetables and Citrus Fruits
In addition to proper oral hygiene, maintaining a healthy diet is extremely important when it comes to optimal oral health. Incorporating fresh fruits that contain vitamin C helps boost the immune system and prevents bleeding gums caused by vitamin deficiencies, while eating at least one serving of raw vegetables each day helps to stimulate blood flow in the gums and naturally cleans the teeth.
Bleeding gums are most often caused by excess tartar buildup beneath the gum line but can also occur with certain illnesses and hormonal fluctuations that happen during menstruation and pregnancy. In many cases, individuals are unaware of potential dental dangers, as bleeding gums do not cause pain in the early stages of periodontal disease.
When caught in time, gum bleeding due to dental issues can often be reversed with professional treatments and proper hygiene practices. If you suffer from unexplained symptoms of bleeding gums, it is important to consult with a health professional to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. Once the condition is assessed, the following procedures and home care practices can help to ensure proper healing and prevent future complications.