Bleeding gums are common, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored. If your gums are swollen, red or bleeding, this could be a sign of gingivitis or gum disease. For proper treatment and diagnosis, you should first visit your dentist. Your dentist will provide proper examination and follow up with a treatment plan that’s right for your situation. In the meantime, here are five steps you can take action and minimize damage or pain:
- Brush and floss daily
You’ve heard it before, but be sure you are brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Keep the goal in mind to remove plaque quickly and efficiently. Why? Because the longer plaque sticks around, the more likely it will cause inflammation and bleeding, which can then progress to advanced forms of gum disease. So if you still see visible plaque and swollen gums, you may want increase brushing frequency to three times a day or after every meal.
- Check your technique
When brushing, use circular motions that are gentle on your teeth and gums. If you find yourself brushing hard or vigorously, you could actually irritate your gums and contribute to bleeding and swelling. Want to really analyze your form? Check your brushing technique here.
- Change your toothbrush
The ADA recommends using a toothbrush with soft bristles as hard bristles can bother your gums. You may also want to upgrade your manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can create powerful cleaning movements up to several thousand movements per minute versus a few hundred with manual brushing. Is an electric right for you? Read more here.
- Limit your sugar
What you eat can play a huge role on your oral health as bacteria thrives in sugary environments. Your best bet is to eat sugar in moderation and brush or rinse immediately after consumption. Keep in mind that eating a balanced diet can lower your risk of gum disease and oral issues.
- Quit smoking
Smoking can cause serious problems for teeth and gums, including severe gum disease. However, not all smokers will have bleeding gums, so this shouldn’t imply one doesn’t have gum disease. Read more about the dangers smoking has on oral health here.