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At the dental practice of James A. Johnson, DDS, we want our patients in Houston, Texas to know that taking good care of your oral health by brushing and flossing daily benefits not just your pearly whites, but your gum health as well. In fact, did you know that your gums–which cushion and support your teeth–are a good indicator of your overall health?

So, what exactly causes your gums to bleed? The main cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque at the gum line, which leads to gingivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease which can cause the gums to bleed, but there are a variety of factors which may cause bleeding.

Brushing too hard: brushing too hard can irritate the gums, so try using a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush with gentle, circular motions instead of back and forth sawing.

Vitamin deficiency: too little essential vitamins in the body, especially vitamin C and K.

Anemia: if you are anemic, you will have a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood caused by a lack of iron in your diet.

Medication: blood thinners (aspirin, ibuprofen) and certain blood pressure medications can result in gum inflammation.

Smoking: the toxins from smoking tobacco can irritate the gums and result in dry mouth.

Hormonal Changes: pregnancy and menstruation cause a hormonal spike which alters the chemical balance in your mouth, affecting gum tissue.

Infection: if you have periodontitis, this is a serious gum infection that eventually destroys the bones that support your teeth. This can also increase risk of heart attack and stroke.

Are your gums bleeding? If so, or if you have any questions regarding your oral health, please give our experienced team a call today at 713.988.0536 and let us help. James A. Johnson, DDS and our team are here to help our patients in Houston, Texas, and the neighboring communities achieve a healthy, beautiful, smile!