Many people are familiar of the classic scenario of going a bit too long without flossing and finding blood seeping out from in between their teeth when they finally get around to taking up the reins of the practice once again, with some sensitive individuals experiencing the same even from brushing too abrasively alone. Proper periodontal upkeep will, in most cases, prevent your delicate gums from becoming inflamed enough to cause this occurrence, but this isn't always so. Knowing the signs and understanding how best to avoid this fate will help you maintain the health of your gums as effectively as possible.
While a less-than-stellar flossing record is probably the most commonly perceived cause of bleeding gums, it may not always be the sole perpetrator at play in those who suffer; the use of blood thinners and the ingestion of blood thinning foods such as broccoli and dark, leafy greens will make you more susceptible to the problem, worsening and catelyzing what may have already been a problem on its own. Unchecked and untreated plaque and tartar build-up, something that is difficult for a patient to relieve at home on his or her own, can often inflame and irritate the gums, causing them to loosen from the teeth and bleed when aggravated. Age can be another relevant factor, with one's vulnerability increasing by as much as fifty percent when they reach the age of thirty; pure genetic disposition is another of these less readily apparent circumstances that can lead to overly sensitive gums. Nighttime clenching and teeth grinding has the potential to weaken every part of the mouth and jaw, and may make it more difficult for your gums to heal when they've already sustained damage. The hormonal changes that come with a new pregnancy may upset the delicate balance of chemicals in the mouth, causing previously healthy and well-maintained gums to bleed seemingly without explanation. A new toothbrush with harsh bristles may also be a contributing element, albeit usually a temporary one; chaffing caused by poorly-fitted dentures may bring about a similar effect.
There are several at-home remedies you can employ against gums that are already bleeding, gargling with warm, salty water being one of the most common. Oil pulling has been a topic of intrigue among professionals in recent years and may be able to ease the discomfort associated with mild periodontal dysfunction. Drinking milk has been found to sooth symptoms, as it contains calcium and other compounds that protect the mouth against disease which may worsen the condition of the gums - chewing thoroughly has also been shown to have a positive effect, as the increase in saliva production helps your mouth cleanse itself of sugars and other acids present in the food being eaten. When all else fails, always consult your dentist or periodontist; they will be able to administer more advanced treatment that at-home remedies simply can't compare to - red flags that indicate a deeper underlying problem include severely swollen gums, changes in bite alignment, a foul taste present in the mouth, and adult teeth coming loose for seemingly no reason.
As always, the best cure is prevention - maintaining a rigorous regime of brushing properly along the gumline and flossing thoroughly every day is the surest way to keep everything clean, stimulate circulation, and dislodge any foreign debris which could otherwise fester and become a source of decay. A healthy diet that includes at least one raw fruit or vegetable a day will do much of the same; avoiding over-indulgence of overly-sugary foods and beverages is an absolute must. Giving up smoking of any kind will not only reduce your risk of developing cancer of the mouth and throat, but will also help prevent periodontal disease from setting in around your teeth, as the dehydrating smoke can lead to inflamation and may make your body less able to supply your gums with the vital oxygen and nutrients they need. Cutting down sources of stress in your life has also been shown to have a tangibly positive effect on the condition of your gums, as well.
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