One fine day you spit out foamy toothpaste while brushing your teeth and see a tinge of blood in it. Shocking? Most people neglect taking care of their gums when caring for their teeth. Healthy gums are the basis of oral health as they provide essential support to the teeth.
Gums usually bleed becomes something irritates them. Here are common reasons gums get irritated:
1. Gingivitis:
If you don’t floss or brush regularly, bacteria builds up in the groove around your teeth. Sometimes you can even see the plaque as white or yellowish marks on your gums. As bacteria grow and move, they irritate your gums, causing gingivitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, and its most common symptom is bleeding gums. Besides bleeding gums, you could also have gingivitis symptoms like red gums, sensitive gums, and bad breath.

Luckily, this stage of gum disease is reversible. Your dentist can help scrape away plaque and bacteria. Brushing and flossing keep the bacteria away for good so you can enjoy healthy gums. However, if gingivitis gets worse, your gums may start to pull away from your teeth, leaving space for bacteria to travel into tissues below your teeth. The longer bacteria live in your tissues, the worse your dental health gets.

2. Pregnancy:
When you are pregnant, changes in your hormones affect your entire body. Your gums are no exception. Hormone changes can cause “pregnancy gingivitis.” Your gums may swell up and become sensitive, causing bleeding when you brush or floss. To avoid oral health issues, talk to your dentist about how to care for your teeth when you are pregnant.

3. Medicines:
The medicines you take can make your gums more likely to bleed, even if you have excellent brushing and flossing habits. Blood thinners and aspirin keep your blood from clotting. These medicines especially increase your risk of bleeding gums and may cause your gums to bleed for a long time after brushing.

You should tell your dentist if you are taking these medicines. We want to help your mouth be as healthy as possible, but if we don’t know about your general health we can’t give you the proper care.

4. A New Oral Health Routine:
If you have just started a new oral health routine, such as brushing or flossing more often, your gums may bleed until your mouth gets used to the new habits. Brushing and flossing clear away bacteria and plaque from your gums. As you practice these good habits, your gums should bleed less until it eventually stops altogether.

Keep in mind that brushing too hard can also irritate your gums and cause them to bleed. Always use a gentle motion when brushing and consider getting a brush with soft bristles.

5. Misaligned Teeth:
When teeth are crowded, crooked, have gaps or suffer some other type of misalignment, then they are more difficult to clean around. Misaligned teeth are much more likely to suffer from gum disease, gingivitis, cavities, gum recession, and tartar buildup. There may not be bleeding in any areas of the mouth except those that have misaligned teeth, due to these risk factors.

6. Iron Deficiency (Anemia):
People that are anemic are more likely to have gums that bleed, even if they floss on a regular basis. This is due to a deficiency of iron, which helps blood platelet formation and restriction of bleeding. When there are not enough platelets in the blood, then bleeding is more evident and harder to stop, even with good oral hygiene. Iron is found in red meats and green leafy vegetables.

Here is when you need to see the dentist:

a) Red or swollen gums
b) Sensitive gums – especially to hot or cold temperatures
c) Gums that seem to be separating from teeth, leaving a gap between the gum and the tooth
d) Frequent bad breath or taste in your mouth
e) Loose teeth as an adult
f) Changes in the way your top and bottom teeth align