For those that have the unfortunate experience, seeing blood while brushing your teeth can be both unpleasant and anxiety-filled. What does it mean? What is causing it? Is there a reason to panic? Though it is most likely a mild problem, blood in the sink is an indication that you need to make a change somewhere; either within diet, your oral hygiene routines or even in regards to your overall health. The top reasons for bleeding gums include:

  • Oral hygiene or the lack thereof. Inflamed and bleeding gums are your mouth’s warning signs of the presence of gum disease. Flossing and brushing properly and on a daily basis will help keep your mouth free of the bacteria that cause gum disease. Regular visits to your dentist in Sterling can keep you gums healthy too.
  • Over-enthusiastic brushing. This is definitely a case of “too much of a good thing”. Brushing too hard can leave gums traumatized and raw. Change your toothbrush to a softer bristle and keep brushing under two minutes and if you continue to see blood while brushing see your dentist for further evaluation.
  • Vitamin deficiencies. The lack of proper nutrition can cause gums to bleed. Both vitamin C and vitamin K are very important to oral health and keeping gums from bleeding. Scurvy doesn’t just affect pirates and sailors; anyone that is devoid of necessary fruits and vegetables in their diet is at risk of scurvy which leads to swollen and bleeding gums. A deficiency of Vitamin K may increase the incidences of bleeding gums as the body needs it to help the clotting process.
  • Medications. Many medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, can cause gums to bleed. Those with chronic health conditions like heart disease and asthma often experience increased bleeding because of the medications’ affects on the gum tissue.

Other causes of bleeding gums include a variety of serious health issues and should be discussed with both your dentist and your general practitioner for full evaluation of the underlying cause. By making sure to take better care of both your oral and general health you’ll be able to reduce the amount of pink that you see in your sink.