The Oral Health Foundation has published a guide on how to stop bleeding gums and the benefits of doing so.

Most of us have experienced bleeding gums at one stage or another in our lives. Bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gum disease, and should not be ignored. It should be taken as a sign that we are not taking proper care of our teeth. When we don't practice correct dental hygiene, bacteria in the mouth can cause plaque to become present on the teeth. The build-up of these bacteria can lead to swollen, inflamed or bleeding gums. This is known as gingivitis. If it is not treated gingivitis can cause eventual tooth loss. Fortunately, with the correct oral hygiene routine gingivitis can be reversed. 

As part of National Smile Month, the Oral Health Foundation and GSK have joined forces to list 5 ways we can help stop bleeding gums.

1. Brush twice a day with a flouride toothpaste. We should brush our teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.  Last thing at night, and at one other time! Don't rinse the mouth after brushing; only spit out any excess toothpaste! The flouride in the toothpaste stays longer on your teeth this way.

2. Use interdental brushes or floss.  A toothbrush doesn't clean between our teeth in the same way as floss or interdental brushes do. Some bleeding may occur when we initially use the brushes, but after a couple of weeks the bleeding should stop.

3. Use a flouride mouthwash. A flouride wash will give our teeth extra protection all day long. It can also help prevent the build-up of plaque on and between the teeth, as well as on our gums.

4. Visit the dentist. If the bleeding doesn't stop don't wait for your next routine visit. Book an appointment to see the dentist or hygienist. The dental team are there to help you care for your teeth.

5. Follow a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle.  look out for hidden sugars in products, especially processed foods, and remember that lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking alcohol can also affect the health of our mouths.

Our gums are the foundations for our teeth. Without good foundations a house will fall down. So too with our teeth.  If we don't keep our gums healthy, we stand a good chance of losing our teeth!

To read the full blog as published in the Oral Health Foundation's July 2019 Digital Magazine, Word of Mouth, click on the following link: