Bleeding gums are never normal, not even during a professional cleaning. If your gums bleed during brushing it is a sign of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. What exactly is gum disease, you may ask? It is a bacterial infection that can cause serious problems within your mouth and within other parts of your body, as well. This is the number one cause of teeth falling out, and missing teeth is a look that nobody wants to try to pull off.

So, what are some of the underlying causes of bleeding gums? Here are 7 reasons that may be the culprit when it comes to bleeding gums:

1- Bad Oral Hygiene (simple, but unfortunately number one)

“I can skip brushing my teeth before bed” or “Flossing isn’t necessary” are thoughts that can be detrimental to your oral health. It may seem repetitive to continue to hear about how important these things are to your daily oral-hygiene routine, but they are constantly on repeat because people don’t take the seriousness of them to heart. In order to avoid bigger health problems, you must brush your teeth twice a day (at least), whenever possible you should brush after meals (especially after sugar-filled food and beverages), floss once a day (at least), and attend dental visits, on average, every six months. As professionals, we can see what you may miss, and this can stop something small from becoming a real threat to your health.

2- Poor Diet

Your teeth (and waistline) don’t appreciate it when you choose doughnuts over fresh produce as your snack. A healthy diet should include at least six to eight servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Supplements that include essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and anti-inflammatories play a role in your oral health. These are essential to your immune system, which nourishes your oral-soft tissue.

3- You Might Smoke

Your teeth and oral health cannot lie for you about the fact that you have a smoking habit. Smoking may be famous for causing lung cancer, but it will do a number on your oral health as well. Chronic smoking leads to enlarged gums, which are improperly nourished. The harmful bacteria that will set up shop between your teeth and gums cause ulcerations, which allow the bacteria to slip into the bloodstream and move into other organs of the body. Heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, and stroke have all been linked to gum disease. Smoking will only accelerate the production of toxic bacteria within the mouth.

4- Stress

Stress can cause many problems for your oral and overall health. Being in a constant state of agitation or feeling anxious takes a toll on your immune system. This will cause inflammation in the blood vessels and break down the soft tissue within the mouth, obstructing its ability to heal properly.

5- Family History and Genetics

The connection between a person’s DNA and the tendency to get periodontal disease shows that 35% of the general population who have the connection are born with a higher tendency to have gum disease in their lifetime. If you are not sure if you have a family history, DNA testing is available to help dentists narrow down particular strains of bacteria that are the cause of gum disease.

6- Meddling Meds

Saliva is an extremely necessary part of a healthy mouth. It helps wash away unwanted food particles that lead to harmful bacteria. However, there are certain medication that can lead to a dry mouth, which affects your ability to produce saliva. Ask your doctor if your prescription medication will affect your gums or cause your mouth to be dry.

7- You Are Pregnant

Congratulations!… However, the crazy hormones that come along with pregnancy don’t only make you crave pickle and banana sandwiches, they have a high rate of causing gingivitis. In fact, nearly half of pregnant women will have gingivitis during their pregnancy. With the practice of good oral hygiene, you can avoid certain potential complications, such as preterm birth and preeclampsia.

No matter what the reason may be for having bleeding gums, it is important to know that they are the first sign to show that there may be more serious oral problems. If you feel like you may have gum disease, or if you have any questions regarding how to maintain proper-oral health, contact our office and our well-trained staff will be waiting to help.