If you wear braces, effectively brushing and flossing your teeth may be challenging. Because of this, you may overzealously brush or improperly floss. This can cause minor gum bleeding -- however, your gums should not bleed profusely.
If you bleed heavily from your gums, your orthodontist may need to examine you to determine why. You may have a bracket or wire poking into your gum tissue, or there may be other reasons. Here are some reasons your gums may be bleeding while wearing your braces, and what you can do about them:
While many people who wear braces know that aspirin and prescription anticoagulants can cause bleeding gums, they may not be aware that certain dietary supplements can also cause your gums to bleed profusely.
If you take supplements such as fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, garlic, or magnesium, tell your orthodontist. He or she will be extra vigilant when tightening your brackets or examining your teeth so that a bleeding episode is not triggered.
While the aforementioned dietary supplements may raise your risk for bleeding gums, if your physician has recommended that you take any of them to help manage a medical problem, do not stop taking them without first getting medical clearance.
Vitamin C Deficiency
If you are a habitual coffee drinker, take certain medications, avoid eating citrus fruits or green leafy vegetables, or suffer from extreme stress, you may be deficient in vitamin C. In addition to fatigue, muscle aches, bone pain, and skin changes, a vitamin C deficiency can cause bleeding gums.
You need adequate amounts of vitamin C to promote healthy collagen production, and when a deficiency develops, gum tissue will weaken and the capillaries in your gums may become damaged.
In addition to bleeding, a vitamin C deficiency can cause significant inflammation of your gums; when this happens, your braces may become uncomfortable or may even cause abrasions on your gums.
If you believe you may have a vitamin C deficiency, see your physician, who can order a simple blood test. If your levels are low, your doctor may recommend that you either consume more citrus fruit or take an over-the-counter supplement. Be sure to tell your dentist if you are deficient so that he or she can monitor your gum health as you continue with your vitamin therapy.
If you experience bleeding gums, see both your physician and your dentist. When you work with both of these doctors, you will be less likely to develop complications as a result of medication side effects, bleeding and inflamed gums, and injuries to your gum tissue from your braces.