October 15th, 2019
Seeing some red in the sink after brushing or flossing may raise an eyebrow or two. It may seem like your gums are bleeding for no reason. But before you venture down the rabbit hole of what-ifs, consider these common causes of gum bleeding.
Common Causes of Bleeding Gums
New Teeth Erupting
With children, as new teeth erupt, gums can become more sensitive. This can lead to mild bleeding or spotting as those new teeth come in. One recommendation would be to use a damp washcloth to clean those gums during this eruption phase of your child's teething process.
The extra oomph you’ve put into your brushing since your most recent visit may be the first place to look. Instead of brushing with the vigor you’d use while scrubbing a stack of plates after Thanksgiving, aim for gentle and patient: place the bristles along your gums at a 45-degree angle, and gently brush two to three teeth at a time.
Inadequate or Forceful Flossing
Changing your flossing routine can also cause your gums to bleed. If you’ve returned to regular flossing after a little hiatus or if you’re flossing more forcefully than usual, bleeding is common. Remember to floss daily and with ease.
Some over-the-counter medications, including aspirin, as well as prescription drugs, like blood thinners, may lead to gum bleeding. Be sure to let us know which medications you’re taking, and keep us in the loop if you and your healthcare provider change your medications. Herbal medications and supplements may also lead to gum bleeding, so check with your physician before taking these supplements for yourself or giving them to your child.
A deficiency in vitamins is a common factor in gum bleeding. Vitamin A helps form your teeth and protects your mouth’s membranes; Foods that boost Vitamin A include: green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens. Orange colored fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamin A such as oranges, apricots, cantaloupes, pumpkins, and carrots.
Vitamin C helps maintain the health of your teeth and gums. A rich source of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, potatoes (yes, potatoes), and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin K ensures your blood clots. Foods rich in vitamin K include green leafy vegetables, parsley, brocoli, and brussel sprouts.
If you’ve upped your hygiene game but still spot blood after brushing, try adding more vitamin-rich foods to your diet.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Gum bleeding, as well as swelling and tenderness, is a common symptom of gingivitis and periodontitis. Often due to poor oral hygiene, both gingivitis and the more-serious periodontitis do require treatment.
When It’s Time for a Visit
If you make changes to your oral health routine but the bleeding doesn’t improve within 10 days, it’s best to come in for a visit.
All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about digital x-rays check out our website section. Still want more information? Check out our monthly blog posts! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.
Get acquainted with us by watching our practice video and find out what we do.
Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.
Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. For more than a decade, served as assistant professor for the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD). He is currently an instructor at LLUSD.