Tuesday June 20 2017

Reasons your gums are bleeding

Gum disease is a common dental condition that affects the gums, the supporting tissue and the bones surrounding the teeth. COURTESY PHOTO

Gum disease is a common dental condition that affects the gums, the supporting tissue and the bones surrounding the teeth. COURTESY PHOTO 

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

My teeth bleed when I’m brushing. I have changed toothbrushes and taken fruits and vitamin C but in vain. What can I do?

Dear Kenneth,
Gums bleeding while you brush may indicate gum disease which is usually due to buildup of sticky material on teeth (plaque) related to poor or no brushing.
Other causes are related to genetics, smoking, stress, diabetes, hormonal fluctuations (especially from puberty, pregnancy and menopause), poor nutrition, obesity and drugs such as contraceptives.
Gum disease can loosen and lead to tooth loss and though the bacteria that lead to it pass through saliva the condition is not contagious. If one’s mouth is not healthy, repeated and prolonged exposure to someone with gum disease may however up the risk of getting gum disease.
Brushing after every meal or at least twice a day and flossing daily in addition to using an antibacterial mouthwash can prevent plaque causing bacteria, apart from addressing the mentioned factors above like smoking. Regular dental checkups and treatment may help in case the said above are not helping in gum disease.

Caution
Stop sharing. Gum disease and bleeding gums are contagious. If your partner has a lot of bacteria, avoid sharing anything that comes into contact with another person’s mouth, from toothbrushes to water glasses.
Visit a doctor. Getting the cause diagnosed and making the necessary changes will help improve the health of your mouth considerably.

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