Bleeding Gums: The Dos and Don'ts of reducing inflammation
Bleeding gums are a sign that something isn't quite right in your mouth. It could be a result of plaque build-up or even a sign of periodontal disease. Before scheduling an appointment with your dentist, you can try the following dos and don'ts to see if they have any impact on your bleeding gums. If you don't notice any positive changes within a week or so, make sure you head for a check-up to get to the bottom of the issue.
Do practice good dental hygiene
Bleeding gums are often a sign of poor dental hygiene. If you allow plaque to build up along your gum line, you risk your gums becoming inflamed. To reduce plaque levels in your mouth, brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. You should also check in with a dentist at least twice a year to ensure your bleeding gums aren't a sign of periodontitis.
Do use a mouthwash
Using an antibacterial mouthwash can be a highly effective way to reduce plaque build-up in your mouth. One study found that participants who rinsed their mouths with a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash had less gum inflammation than those that didn't. So, if you don't do so already, consider adding a hydrogen peroxide-based mouthwash to your daily dental routine.
Do increase your vitamin intake
People who are nutrient deficient may struggle to fight off gum infections that often lead to bleeding gums. Specifically, foods rich in Vitamin C can help prevent bleeding gums, so try and include more oranges, sweet potatoes, and carrots in your diet to boost your Vitamin C levels. Equally, another study found that people with a Vitamin K deficiency may suffer from bleeding gums, so including spinach, kale, and mustard greens in your diet is a smart move.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of gum disease, as it lowers your body's immune system. Ultimately, in addition to the various negative impacts it has on your lung and heart health, smoking can make it much more difficult for your body to fight off plaque bacteria. While quitting smoking isn't easy, it can have a hugely positive impact on your gums' health and a broad range of other benefits for your general health and well-being.
Don't do things that increase your stress levels
If you lead a stressful lifestyle, you might be more likely to develop gum disease. For instance, one study has found that people with high levels of emotional distress are more likely to develop periodontal disease. This is because stress levels can influence your body's ability to fight off certain diseases, but more research is required to say definitively. Still, practising mindfulness and making small changes to your lifestyle can reduce your stress levels, which could prevent your gums from bleeding.
When should you see a dentist?
While combining several of the above tips should lead to some improvements, we'd recommend seeing a dentist within a week if your bleeding gums don't ease. For most patients, a deep clean of your teeth will remove plaque build-up and leave you with healthier gums that are less likely to bleed. But a dentist will also be able to diagnose whether your bleeding gums are a sign of something more serious before recommending a suitable course of treatment. If you're concerned about your bleeding gums, give us a call today on 0203 613 3330, and we'd be delighted to schedule you in for an appointment.