Bleeding Gums: Why Worry?
Bleeding gums can be a health concern with repercussions that extend far beyond your mouth. There are numerous causes for bleeding gums, and various strategies for dealing with the causes. Topical antioxidants in oral care products should be consider.
Bleeding gums, a common symptom of gum diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis, can affect your overall health. Here’s why:
Infection: A major cause of bleeding gums is infection, caused by bacteria harbored in your mouth. If these bacteria or other blood-borne micro-organisms have access to your bloodstream and can lead to dangerous systemic infections.
Inflammation: Scientific studies have linked inflammation of gum disease to a lengthening list of serious and chronic illnesses, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, erectile dysfunction, pregnancy complications, and more. Inflammation is largely the result of an overabundance of free radical molecules, brought about by infection, disease, poor diet, and noxious substances or pollutants.
What Causes Bleeding Gums?
Diabetes: Chronic high blood sugar can affect dental health, and troubles with the teeth and gums. Without proper care, poor oral health can become magnified, from an irritating side effect to a major complication affecting the entire body – and your quality of life.
Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the body searches for sources of calcium and nutrition and finds them in teeth and periodontal bone. Pregnancy can lead to cavities (dental caries), gingivitis, and even tooth loss without the proper dental hygiene and attention to oral health. Other hormonal changes can also weaken oral tissues, including bleeding gums.
Poor dental hygiene: Floss, use a mouthwash, and brush twice a day. To keep your mouth safe and healthy, there’s no substitute for good oral care.
Diet: Sugary foods or starchy foods can actually coat your teeth, causing a quicker buildup of plaque and facilitating gingivitis and periodontitis. A lack of critical vitamins from a poor diet can also lead to bleeding gums.
Disease: Diabetes, in particular, is known to cause problems with oral health and to make it more difficult to recover from oral disease.
Medications: Some medicines, such blood thinners, can weaken oral tissues and trigger bleeding gums.
The chemistry of saliva: Naturally-occurring antioxidants in your saliva counteract the free radicals associated with inflamed oral tissues and help your body to control the early stages of gingivitis. If that antioxidant balance is off, it may increase in inflammation and infection.
If You Have Bleeding Gums…
If you are at risk for the periodontal disease associated with bleeding gums, or if you already have bleeding gums, start by brushing and flossing regularly, and be sure to see your dentist at least twice each year for cleaning and for treatment. Your dentist may suggest an oral rinse for daily use, like our AO ProVantage products or AO ProRinse. If you smoke— another increased risk for bleeding gums—our AO ProVantage Blast is formulated specifically for you. Besides being cool and refreshing, the antioxidants in AO ProVantage products work with the antioxidants that occur naturally in saliva.