Bleeding gums are a symptom of poor gum health. Since you may not experience pain or discomfort, you may not think it is serious. In many, bleeding gums indicate gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious health complications.
Gum disease develops when plaque and tartar buildup along the gumline causes inflammation. Over time, pockets of infection can also develop. As gum disease progresses, many people experience loose teeth or may have tooth loss. Good oral hygiene is key to preventing gum disease. What you eat can make good oral hygiene easier or harder to maintain.
Good brushing and flossing routines are key to good gum health. What people eat can support or hurt those efforts. Certain foods act more quickly to damage or weaken the enamel of the tooth. Others provide better support for bad bacteria or are harder to clean from the teeth. A balanced diet is key to supporting healthy gums.
Starchy, processed foods
These foods can adhere to teeth. Many people do not brush immediately after every meal. The starches break down into sugars, which fuel bacteria growth. Plaque forms along the gumline, causing inflammation.
Certain drinks can do a lot of damage
Soda has no health benefits and is also very damaging to the teeth and gums. Many sodas are high in sugar, which fuels bacteria growth on the teeth. Sodas are also highly acidic. Acidic drinks harm the enamel of the teeth. This allows bacteria to more easily damage the tooth and cause decay as well as bleeding gums.
Fruit juices do have some health benefits but can also harm the teeth and gums. Fruit juices are high in sugars. Many juices are also acidic. Like soda, these drinks damage the tooth enamel and also provide fuel for bad bacteria.
Another type of drink that is a bad combination of acidic and sugary is sports drinks. Many people do not realize how much sugar a single sports drink has. Drinking sports drinks in place of water can promote gum disease and make bleeding gums worse. Hydration is important, but dentists recommend rinsing the mouth after drinking a sports drink and following up with brushing when possible.
These foods can help with bleeding gums
Some vegetables naturally help clean teeth because they are crunchy. Celery and carrots are great non-acidic choices. In some cases, gums are more prone to bleeding because of vitamin deficiencies. When people do not get enough vitamin K and vitamin C, their gums may be more likely to bleed. Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach can provide the nutrients people need.
Eating and drinking for oral health
If you have a good oral hygiene routine, are eating a balanced diet, and still struggle with bleeding gums, it may be time to check in with a dentist. The dentist has tools to remove plaque more effectively than what you can do at home. A dentist can also review your health information. There could be other factors contributing to your bleeding gums.
Request an appointment or call Phoenix Family Dentistry at 602-547-9007 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.