Bleeding gums are a good indicator of an infection, and they are never a good sign. A case of infected gums from gum disease is the number one reason teeth fall out. Eighty percent of adults today have periodontal disease and only about ten percent of them know it. Here are three reasons your gums are bleeding and what you can do about it.
Reason #1: You Don't Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums
Gingivitis, or gum disease, is a contagious bacterial infection that you can spread to others by kissing, or drinking out of the same cup. For this reason it is especially important that you do all you can to prevent it so you don't inadvertently spread it to your family and friends.
The best way to prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease is to remove the plaque from your teeth by flossing daily and brushing your teeth at least twice a day.
After you have eaten, the leftover food particles and bacteria in your mouth work together to form a layer of plaque on your teeth. If you don't brush and floss your teeth to remove this plaque layer, then it can irritate your gums causing them to become inflamed. Later, when you do try to floss and brush your teeth, your inflamed gums will bleed.
When your gums begin to bleed, it is because they have open wounds. The open wounds become entryways which bacteria can get into. Just eating a food that irritates your gums can cause them to bleed at this stage in gum disease.
If you don't take care of your gums, your gum disease will eventually turn into periodontal disease, which leads to erosion of your jawbone and tooth loss.
Reason #2: You Are a Smoker
By smoking cigarettes you make your body's immune system weaker, which makes it harder for you to overcome any type of infections. Smoking can cause more tartar to build up on your teeth, which leads to gum irritation, bleeding, and infection. By being a smoker with gum disease you are making it harder for your body to get rid of any infection in your gums, even after you begin to brush and floss regularly.
The best way to allow your body's immune system to fight off a gum disease and bleeding gums is to stop smoking. But, if you still can't stop smoking, there are a couple of helpful steps you can take:
- Get regular deep teeth cleanings by your dentist to remove tartar below your gum line.
- Use a prescription mouth rinse to help get rid of the infection in your gums.
Reason #3: You Have Hand, Food, and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease, also called gingivostomatitis, is a viral infection that children usually contract, but you can still get as an adult. The coxsackie virus is the most common virus that causes this miserable infection that gives you body aches, a high fever, sores inside your mouth and down your throat, and swollen and bleeding gums. During your illness you will feel that your gums are puffy and swollen, often covered in open sores.
If you get this virus, antibiotics won't do anything to help treat it. You just need to wait for the virus to run its course in your body. It is best to continue brushing your teeth while you are sick with the virus, just be careful to not irritate any sores or your swollen gums.
To help treat the painful sores and gums that are caused by gingivostomatitis, you can take acetaminophen or anti-inflamatory medications to help with the pain and swelling. You can also rinse your mouth with a combination of a liquid children's antihistamine and liquid antacid. Swish a mouthful of this mixture in your mouth for 30 seconds to help relieve the pain.
If you having bleeding gums for any reason, it is important to take care of them and treat any gum disease so you don't loose your teeth.
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