2. You smoke
Smokers are at a higher risk of experiencing bleeding gums.
“Smoking tends to cause an increase in periodontal disease for a variety of reasons,” says Doig. Inhaled smoke can leave irritating toxins on the teeth that can be difficult to remove through oral hygiene.
These unhealthy substances can cause the gums to become aggravated and bleed. Smokers can also have a compromised immune response to infection, and issues with proper healing and oxygenation of the blood supply – all factors that can negatively influence your gums.
Quit smoking and your gums will thank you.
3. You consume a nutritionally poor diet
If you don’t follow Canada’s Food Guide and eat the recommended daily servings of fresh vegetables and fruit as well as grains, dairy and protein, you could be setting your gums up for inflammation.
“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an important defense,” says Doig. A balanced diet is key for not only a healthy body, but also a healthy mouth. And forget about so-called ‘miracle’ foods that are purported to keep gums healthy and prevent oral disease. Such foods don’t exist.
“The only miracle is the toothbrush,” says Doig. “A combination of good oral hygiene and overall health is the best prevention.”
4. You’re female
Hormonal changes during menstruation, and pregnancy can increase the chances of having bleeding gums.
“There are women who experience a regular hormonal gingivitis associated with their monthly cycle,” says Doig. “Hormonal changes in pregnancy also increase the risk of developing gingivitis or periodontitis.”
If you think that your hormones might be causing your gums to bleed, ask your dentist for advice on how to adapt your oral health routine.