Everyone has experienced bleeding gums at one time or another, as around 70% of Canadians will develop periodontal disease at least once in their lives. Even so, this common dental problem can be a sneaky one, developing slowly within your mouth until you start noticing further bleeding, pain and sensitivity, or other issues.
Fortunately, getting bleeding gums treatment isn’t hard, and the solution often relies on proper brushing habits and regular teeth cleanings. But like most oral problems, one major factor in your recovery is what you put into your mouth!
Let’s take a quick look at how to stop bleeding gums by starting with what’s on your plate.
1. Sugary Drinks
We all know that sugary beverages have few to no health benefits, but if you need another reason to avoid them, it should be to preserve your gums!
The sugars in sodas and sports drinks are bad for your teeth, as they can weaken the enamel and promote tooth decay over time. However, these ingredients are also terrible for your gums, eroding them with consecutive exposure.
If you do drink one of these beverages every once in a while, do so with care: make sure you rinse your mouth with water afterward. You can also brush your teeth and gums, but make sure to wait at least 30 minutes to avoid removing enamel that’s weakened by acid.
What to Drink Instead: Water is always a great choice when it comes to oral health, as it washes away food particles without adding sugar. In addition, high-calcium beverages like milk can help your oral hygiene by encouraging healthy bacteria growth within your mouth.
2. Acidic Fruits
When you’re worried about your gums bleeding, it’s a good idea to avoid acids of any kind, as they can further deteriorate your condition. Though it’s possible to find acids in sugary drinks, it’s worth noting that you’ll also find high quantities of them in one sneaky health food: fruits.
Vitamin C-rich fruits like grapefruits, oranges, limes, lemons, and even tomatoes can erode your gums, especially because the acids are combined with natural fruit sugar.
What to Eat Instead: If you’re looking for a low-acid fruit that’s still high in vitamin C, kiwis have more than oranges do! In addition, crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and celery can help clean your teeth while reducing the risk of plaque buildup.
3. Candy and Sticky Sweets
We’ve already established that sweets and certain fruits can be hard on your gums. However, candies and sticky products can be especially problematic.
Dried fruit, gummy bears, caramels, and other sticky sweets can be a major problem if you’re currently going through bleeding gums treatment. Because these sugary products tend to stick around the gums for a while after you’ve eaten them, you’ll leave an opening for sugars to worsen your gum issues.
In addition, hard candies like lollipops can be an issue: the longer the product is in your mouth, the more exposure your gums will have to the sugar.
What to Eat Instead: Some sugar-free candies can be better for your teeth, and sugar-free chewing gum can actually clean your teeth and gums!
Caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee may be a part of your daily habits, but they can wreak havoc on your gums.
Too much caffeine can cause dry mouth—which can be a big threat to your already bleeding gums. When the mouth produces less saliva, it creates opportunities for bacteria to grow. This can not only cause tooth decay but also worsen your existing periodontal disease.
If you do drink these kinds of beverages, make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward.
What to Drink Instead: For an easy switch, consider switching to decaf where possible!
5. Starchy Foods
White bread, pasta, crackers, chips, and other starchy products are packed with simple carbs, which our bodies convert into sugars. As you might expect, these sugars are the last thing you want in your mouth!
Worse, starches tend to coat the teeth and gums before dissolving, which gives bacteria a chance to get into the nooks and crannies of your mouth. If you experience bleeding gums when brushing, starches are one food you’ll want to avoid when you can.
What to Eat Instead: If you’re looking for healthier starches, opting for whole-grain products can reduce your risk of worsening your periodontal disease while promoting gum health.
6. Frozen Treats
Ice creams and popsicles make great summer treats, but they can also aggravate your existing gum condition.
As you might expect, the sugar present in these sweets isn’t great for your teeth or gums, but the cold temperatures make things even worse. Icy treats can cause extra irritation in gums that have begun to wear down, especially if your nerves are sensitive in certain areas of your mouth. In some cases, these treats can even cause further sensitivity.
What to Eat Instead: As above, opting for sugar-free products can be a good start. Dairy-rich products can also be a better alternative, as can low-sugar dark chocolate products.
Take Good Care of Your Bleeding Gums
Periodontal disease can be an annoying issue, but there’s plenty you can do for your bleeding gums. By paying better attention to what you put into your mouth, you’ll protect your teeth and gums from harmful bacteria that could worsen your condition. If you’ve noticed that any of the common culprits above often find their way onto your plate, it may be time to reconsider your diet!
Want expert help with your bleeding gums? If you’re struggling to tackle this issue on your own, our North York dental clinic is here to help. Reach out today with questions or to book an appointment.