Though it may be very common, spitting out blood while brushing, however little, is not normal. Bleeding gums can be an early sign of gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontal disease and hence should never be ignored. It can also be a symptom of scurvy. Plaque, when accumulated over time can lead to the inflammation of gums. Vigorous brushing or flossing over these inflamed gums can make them bleed.
Other causes for bleeding gums can include:
- Vitamin deficiency
- Blood thinners
- Mouth sores
- Bleeding disorders
- Hormonal changes
- And, health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and leukemia
Regular dental checkups are essential to maintain healthy gums. A tooth clean up will rid your mouth of plaque and tartar that cause gum infections. Apart from that, here are a few things you can do at home.
- Eat a healthy diet: Avoiding excessive sugar can help keep your gums and teeth healthier. Replace this sugar with a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. This gives your gums the necessary nutrients. Chewing raw vegetables can also improve blood circulation in your gums and can help treat bleeding gums. Boosting your intake of vitamin A, C, calcium and magnesium can also keep your gums healthy.
- Dental routine: Brushing and flossing regularly are crucial to good dental health. This removes harmful bacteria that trigger dental infections. Make it a habit to brush and floss at least twice a day. The way you brush also makes a difference. Brush both sides of your teeth in an upwards and downwards movement instead of going from side to side. Also pay attention to the condition of your toothbrush. Change your toothbrush every six months and pick a soft or medium bristled toothbrush instead of firm bristled toothbrushes. Hard brushes can damage the soft tissues inside your mouth. Also, make it a habit to rinse your mouth with mouthwash after every meal. Alternatively, you could use a weak saline solution or hydrogen peroxide.
- Manage stress: Even your gums are affected by stress. Stress increases inflammation that causes bleeding and reduces the immune system's capability to fight infections. Studies have also shown a direct relationship between stress and the build up of plaque. Stress can also make it harder for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and good dental habits.
- Stop sharing: Bleeding gums is a communicable infection. To protect yourself from bleeding gums, do not share things like glasses, cutlery etc. sharing toothbrushes should always be considered as a taboo.