When Your Gums Start to Bleed - Rinse Your Mouth With This
You see it on your toothbrush – evidence of bleeding gums. You know bleeding gums are not normal – you may know that bleeding gums are an early warning sign of gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease only gets worse. In time, gum disease could even cause your teeth to fall out.
Gums bleed when plaque builds up along the gum line, which irritates the sensitive gum tissue. Plaque is a sticky film that develops on the surface of teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria, which feeds on sugars in your food. As bacteria feed, they produce the acid that causes tooth decay, also known as cavities or caries. The acid and bacteria can also irritate the gums, causing inflammation and bleeding.
Gum disease can worsen to cause the formation of pockets between the gum and teeth; plaque can harden into tartar. In time, plaque and tartar can fill these pockets to cause irritation deep within the gum line and even cause decay of tooth roots.
Fortunately, you can take steps to help stop gum disease, or even reverse it. One of the best things you can do is to rinse your mouth. Rinsing swishes away the food particles, bacteria, and acid that irritates gums to cause gum disease. Some rinses may be better than others, however, so you will need to choose wisely.
Salt Water Rinse
While you can choose from a wide variety of rinses, you can actually help your gums heal with a salt water solution. It may seem counterintuitive, as you would not normally put salt on irritated body tissues, but salt water actually soothes irritated gum tissue. Salt temporarily increases the pH level of the mouth, creating an alkaline environment with less acid. Bacteria prefer an acidic environment, so salt water rinses create an inhospitable environment for bacteria.
Salt provides further benefits, in that salt contains a balanced concentration of minerals and salts naturally found in the body, so salt water rinses will not irritate mucus membranes the way some medicinal mouthwashes do.
Antibacterial mouthwash is another great choice for rinsing your mouth when your gums start to bleed. These mouthwashes contain ingredients that kill the bacteria that cause gum disease. However, antibacterial mouthwashes are not created equally – some contain alcohol that can actually make bleeding gums worse. Alcohol contains sugars, which is bacteria’s favorite food.
Revisit Your Oral Care Routine
If gums are bleeding, there is a bigger issue going on in your mouth. Bleeding gums are an early warning sign that you may have gum disease, and may be on your way to losing teeth. Routine teeth care is an important step in resolving bleeding gums. Brush twice a day, floss daily, and rinse your mouth several times each day to treat bleeding gums.
And, come see your dentist (we don’t bite!). Dentists can spot problems early, even before your gums start to bleed. For more information about bleeding gums, and to learn ways to treat and prevent bleeding gums, contact the dental professionals at Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental.
Williams, Daily & Frazier Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to
their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes.
Contact Williams, Daily & Frazier at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.