Healthy Gums to Prevent a Mouthful of Trouble

Healthy Gums to Prevent a Mouthful of Trouble

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Healthy Gums Prevent a Mouthful of Trouble

Have you ever been bothered by a bit of blood on your toothbrush while brushing?

Normally, such bleeding happens in the gums, the spongy structures that hold and protect the teeth. The gums cover the jawbone and hold the teeth in place. When the gums start bleeding, it is mostly because of the accumulation of plaque at the gum line, often caused by poor oral hygiene. The most common form of gum disease is gingivitis, which causes inflammation and swelling of the gums. Left untreated, it can develop into a far more serious condition called periodontitis, which may result in tooth loss. Persistent gum bleeding may also indicate other serious medical conditions, such as leukemia.

CAUSES

Poor oral hygiene is the fundamental cause of bleeding gums

  • Brushing too hard
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Improper flossing
  • Infections
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy
  • Anaemia
  • Leukaemia
  • Scurvy
  • Use of blood thinners
  • Vitamin K deficiency
  • Dengue fever
  • Malnutrition
  • Liver disorders like cirrhosis
  • Kidney disorders
  • Arterial or capillary diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Heart diseases
  • HIV

Bleeding gums are common during pregnancy because of hormonal changes

SYMPTOMS

  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose and shaky teeth
  • Red, tender or swollen gums
  • Bleeding on slightest injury or even touch
  • Pus in the gums
  • Recession of gums

DIAGNOSIS

  • Oral examination of teeth and gums
  • X-rays of teeth and jaw
  • Complete blood analysis
  • Examining levels of sugar, calcium, urea, and creatinine
  • Examining coagulation factors
  • Prothombin time test (test that measures the time taken by blood plasma to clot)
  • Bleeding time test
  • Clotting time test

PREVENTION AND HOME CARE

Although it can happen at any time, bleeding gums normally appear in the thirties and forties

  • Visit your dentist regularly
  • Wear only right-fitting dentures
  • Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush after every meal
  • Floss regularly after seeking your dentist’s guidance
  • Avoid using commercial mouthwashes which contain alcohol
  • Avoid snacking between meals
  • Reduce carbohydrates intake
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water, especially after eating
  • Be careful with extremely hot or cold food and drinks
  • Avoid use of tobacco
  • Avoid stress
  • Take recommended vitamin supplements
  • Take blood thinning medication only under medical supervision

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