While caring for your teeth is important, many forget the value of caring for your gums as part of an important oral hygiene regimen. Problems such as bleeding gums can be a sign that your gums are not being properly cared for and need attention. Since gums provide important support for your teeth, take good care of them and take action if you notice bleeding gums.
The Most Common Cause of Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums are most often caused by gum disease. Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, is very common and may require treatment and improved oral hygiene to help eliminate it. If you have bleeding gums, you certainly aren’t the only one. It's estimated that more than three quarters of adults in America over the age of 35 have gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. (1) If left untreated, bleeding gums and gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis.
Take Bleeding Gums Seriously
While you don’t need to panic if you notice bleeding gums, you do need to take action to help prevent the progression to a more advanced form of gum disease. Since so many people have gingivitis and bleeding gums, people often don’t take it seriously enough.
In fact, while research shows that one of two Americans have some form of gum disease, approximately only three percent seek professional treatment. According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), this discrepancy between the prevalence of gum disease and the low levels of professional treatment can likely be blamed on a lack of understanding of the effect periodontal disease can have on overall health. Some studies suggest that periodontitis may be associated with other health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, so it shouldn't be taken lightly. (2)
Treatment for Bleeding Gums
There are many ways to help improve your oral health and help eliminate bleeding gums. Since bleeding gums are mainly due to inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at the gum line (3), starting an effective oral hygiene regimen is a great way to help stop bleeding gums.
Oral Hygiene Recommendations to Help Prevent Bleeding Gums
Here are some tips to help prevent or reduce bleeding gums.
- Brush Often: The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing twice a day with ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste such as Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste. Brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush in a circular motion will help stimulate your gums, help prevent bleeding gums and strengthen the tissue that protects your teeth. All Crest Pro-Health toothpastes are triclosan free.
- Floss Daily: Flossing is one of the most important ways to help prevent bleeding gums and maintain good oral health. It removes plaque and food particles that may be under the gumline and lead to bleeding gums.
- Combine for Best Results: For best results, use multiple products together to keep your mouth, gums and teeth healthy. A comprehensive system such as the Crest Pro-Health regimen features a variety of products that work well together, including Crest Pro-Health Toothpaste, Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Rinse, Oral-B Vitality Toothbrush and Glide Deep Clean Floss. All Crest Pro-Health toothpastes are triclosan free.
- See a Dentist Regularly: The cleaning performed twice a year at your dentist's office will remove plaque and tartar that can’t be removed at home. This will help prevent bleeding gums and keep your mouth healthy.
Other Causes of Bleeding Gums
If you don’t have gingivitis, but still suffer from bleeding gums, don’t ignore the problem. Bleeding gums can also be caused by bleeding disorders, leukemia, vitamin K deficiency, hormonal changes, scurvy or the use of blood thinners. If gum disease is ruled out as the source, it’s best to consult with your doctor to determine the cause of your bleeding gums.