Q: HI DOC! I’m a 23-year Old Man suffering from bleeding gums. What do you think may be the cause and how can I stop the bleeding?
A: Your brushing and flossing techniques could be the culprits. If you use very hard bristles, you could be causing significant damage to your gum.
If you also floss by forcing the floss in between your teeth, then this could very well be the cause of the problem.
Where the problem is not caused by your wrong ‘hygiene’ techniques, it could be due to gum disease. Gum disease arises due to lack of good dental hygiene which causes plaque forming bacteria to accumulate in the mouth and lead to swollen and bleeding gums. If this happens and is noticed early, it can be reversed before it starts causing tooth loss and weakening of the gum and bone structure holding the teeth (periodontitis). Other culprits could be hormones (during pregnancy or menstruation) and chemotherapy.
Prevention is targeted at the causes:
Brush your teeth at least twice a day using soft bristled tooth brushes. Brush in circular motions, gently removing the plaque and massaging the gums. Mentally divide your mouth into four sections and be sure to spend at least 30 seconds on each section of your teeth brushing all sides and chewing surfaces.
Floss daily, following the natural curve of your teeth. This activity does not take too long but spares you a lifetime of woes :D.
Eat a well balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies. This ensures that you have the right supply of minerals and vitamins which helps prevent gum disease.
Drink a lot of water which ensures that plaque forming bacteria are washed off teeth. Ensure that other fluids you take are neither too hot or too cold. Lukewarm food goes easier on your gums.
Finally, relax as the stress hormone cortisol can significantly contribute to swelling and bleeding of your gums by causing inflammation. Can you imagine…stressing out over Lagos traffic can actually cause my gums to bleed! 😉
Have a great night y’all 😀