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Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Brush Or Floss My Teeth ?!

Oral health is an important part of the general health; while bleeding gums constitutes one of the most common issues of oral health, it tends to appear for the first time when you notice a

tinge of blood in your mouth during brushing or flossing your teeth.

Noticing the blood in your oral cavity is an alarming sign, which may occur when you brush your teeth too hard. But on the other side, bleeding gums may develop as in indicator for many pathological causes.

The main cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis. It means inflammation and irritation of gums which occurs due to deposition of plaques over the teeth. These plaques are deposited due to neglecting brushing teeth and lead to trapping of food particles over your teeth and gums; this will increase the activity of pathogenic bacteria and fungi.

In cases of gingivitis, the patient experiences bleeding gums as well as red and swollen gums. Management plan consists mainly of removal of the plaques and treatment of gingivitis by local antibiotics and mouth wash. To prevent gingivitis, it's recommended to take care of oral hygiene in addition to brushing your teeth regularly.

On the same context, there are other less common causes for bleeding gums, they include:

1. Hereditary: some cases of bleeding gums may develop due to positive family history.

2. Diabetes: patients of diabetes with uncontrolled blood glucose level are more susceptible to develop infections and bleeding gums.

3. Scurvy: it develops due to vitamin C deficiency and is mainly manifested with bleeding gums; treatment includes vitamin C supplementation and following a healthy diet rich in vitamin C.

4. Pregnancy: bleeding gums is relatively common during pregnancy by the effect of elevated levels of pregnancy hormones (especially estrogen & progesterone) which lead to softening of the mucous membrane of gums to be more sensitive and swollen; also these hormones increase bacterial and fungal infections in the oral cavity. These hormonal effects increase the incidence of gingivitis and bleeding gums.

5. Bleeding tendency: any defect in the clotting factors increase the risk of bleeding gums.

6. Smoking: it's one of the most common risk factors for bleeding gums as well as many other oral health problems.

7. Medications: administration of certain drugs may reduce saliva secretion, which causes mouth dryness and increases the risk of bleeding gums and gingivitis.

Generally, management of bleeding gums includes detecting the causative factor (gingivitis, uncontrolled diabetes, bleeding tendency… etc.) and managing it properly. Also, the management plan consists of the following measures:

- Brushing teeth 1-2 times every day by an anti-gingivitis toothpaste.

- Rinsing your mouth by an anti-gingivitis mouthwash.

- Dental flossing every day.

- Visiting your dentist for routine check-up.

- Visiting your dentist if you have inflamed gums or if you noticed a tinge of blood in your mouth or on your teeth brush.

- Taking care of overall oral and teeth hygiene.

- Eating foods rich in vitamin C, such as orange and lemons.

- If you are diabetic, it's important to maintain blood glucose level within normal ratio.

- It's important to quit smoking.


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