Why my gums bleed

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Almost on daily basis I get asked this simple question by my patients. I am sure you have done the same or wondered why do gums bleed.

Recently, an add on TV generated a lot of interests in viewers when bleeding on brushing teeth was given the name of “gum disease” where a female model is shown with a missing front tooth.

This gave an opportunity to many patients to ask their dentists the reasons behind gum bleeding. We as dentists were taught at dental school that gum bleeding starts from the buildup of plaque on teeth, ignoring to floss and not using the right brushing techniques.

That’s all true and we also now know more reasons, for example, smoking, ill health, poor diet and immune system weakness can all cause bleeding gums. It’s all true that if your gums are healthy then there is an increased chance that your general health is good as well. Rarely I see a patient with excellent gum health and suffering from any chronic disease.

Gum disease has also been shown to worsen the existing medical conditions, one example which has received a lot of press exposure is heart disease.

To prevent bleeding gums, you must adhere to the following 5 step plan:

  • Visit your dentist or hygienist at least 6 monthly, they will teach you techniques that will work for your gums and will clean the areas you have been unable to clean yourself.
  • Smoking is not only bad for your health but it causes a number of dental problems, if you don’t believe me, come and see me I will show you the devastating effects of smoking on oral health.
  • Eat a balanced and healthy diet. It doesn’t have to be expensive exotic food. Simple strategies can help to achieve gum and general health.
  • Adopt a gentle brushing technique, brush at least two minutes each time and twice a day cleaning is minimum number of times. No harm in cleaning your teeth a third time.
  • Use floss, small interdental brushed and rinsing with water after eating can all help.

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