Bleeding gums is common occurrence for many people. In most cases, it’s not serious.
Common causes of sensitive or bleeding gums include:
- not brushing the teeth often enough, or at least twice a day
- using a toothbrush that is too hard or stiff
- using a frayed, worn toothbrush that no longer cleans effectively
- using dental floss roughly, instead of gently pushing it down and hugging the sides of each tooth
- taking certain medicines, such as aspirin, blood thinners, or ibuprofen
- having gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease
While bleeding gums don’t usually hurt, the sight of blood along your gum line can be alarming and a nuisance. Here are 6 ways to stop gums from bleeding, and how to prevent the bleeding from returning.
1. Get some gauze
As with bleeding anywhere else on the body, people can help stop the bleeding by immediately holding a clean, damp gauze against the affected area.
Gently press the gauze in place until the blood has stopped flowing.
People with a weakened immune system or another medical condition may find that their gums take a long time to stop bleeding.
2. Use ice
Hold a cool compress, a small ice pack, or an ice cube against swollen, bleeding gums to help soothe them.
Ice packs are especially helpful to soothe minor mouth injuries that cause swelling, such as cuts and scrapes. They can also help reduce pain and swelling caused by gingivitis.
Use ice for 10 minutes at a time and take 10-minute breaks.
3. Try mouthwash
Antibacterial mouthwashes can both treat and prevent bleeding gums. They kill bacteria and reduce inflammation to soothe sore, swollen, and bleeding gums.
Mouthwash can also treat and prevent gingivitis, which is a common cause of bleeding gums.
4. Swish with a warm salt rinse
Rinsing the mouth with salt water can help reduce bacteria and speed up healing times. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), a person can make an oral salt rinse by adding half a teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water.
Swish the salt rinse around the mouth to cleanse the area and then spit the liquid out. Repeat this several times a day.
5. Floss every day, but be gentle
Starting a new flossing habit can cause bleeding at first. The gums may not be used to the stimulation. However, after a few days of consistent flossing, the bleeding should stop.
Regular flossing improves overall gum health and should reduce gum bleeding over time.
6. Kick smoking
Smoking is a major cause of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Smoking harms the body’s immune system, meaning the body is less able to fight off the bacteria that naturally stick to the gums.
Once the gums are damaged, smoking makes it harder for the body to heal its tissues.
Quitting smoking benefits the whole body, and greatly increases the health of a person’s mouth and gums. People often notice improvements in their oral health quickly after stopping smoking.
Preventing Bleeding Gums
The best way to avoid bleeding gums is to adopt a healthful lifestyle that prevents the diseases that cause bleeding gums.
People can often avoid and prevent bleeding gums and other gum problems by:
- Practicing good oral health care, including brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
- Replacing toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months.
- Seeing a dentist regularly.
- Booking regular hygienist appointments for professional cleaning and tartar removal.
- Seeing a doctor regularly to check for health problems that can contribute to gum problems, such as diabetes.
- Avoiding smoking or working with a doctor to find ways to quit smoking.
- Eating a healthful diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and limiting processed foods and foods with added sugars.
Remember, you should always check contact us if you notice changes in your gums, teeth, or mouth.
Pain, redness, or bleeding of the gums should not happen every day. If the problem arises frequently or does not go away with good oral hygiene practices, we can check for early-stage gum disease and other issues.
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THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures, complete dental reconstruction and TMJ/Headache management. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.