If you have been experiencing some problems with your gums and you are in menopause, let us tell you something many women don’t realize: bleeding gums and other gum issues are common during menopause. Once you know that, you can take steps to manage the situation. So let’s go!
What are bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums are a common symptom of gum disease, especially periodontitis, which is inflammation of the gums, or gingivitis, which occurs when tarter builds up on the gum line. In fact, periodontitis affects nearly half of adults older than 30 and is the leading cause of tooth loss. However, bleeding gums can have other causes as well. Among them are:
- Brushing and/or flossing too vigorously
- Perimenopause and menopause
- Wearing dentures
- Vitamin C and/or K deficiency
- Presence of leukemia or hemophilia
- Use of blood thinning medication
How are bleeding gums associated with menopause?
Estrogen is necessary for gum health in women. Once the levels of this hormone begin to decline in perimenopause and menopause, there is an impact on gum health, including the risk of receding gums, infection, and bleeding.
Dropping estrogen levels also cause your mouth to get drier, which can trigger more bacterial growth. This can contribute to bleeding or receding gums.
How can you treat bleeding gums naturally?
One of the easiest and more effective things you can do is to brush twice daily and floss. This is a habit that never grows old!
Here are a few other tips to help with bleeding gums.
- Vitamin C. Eat more foods rich in vitamin C or take supplements. Don’t overdo the dosage, however, because vitamin C is acid and can cause damage to tooth enamel. A daily dose of 500 to 1,000 mg is sufficient.
- Green tea. Drink green tea or take green tea extract daily. The excellent levels of antioxidants in this plant may help reduce inflammation of the gums. In addition, the polyphenols in green tea can interfere with the growth of bacteria associated with inflamed gums. The suggested amount of green tea to drink is 3 to 4 cups daily.
- Aloe vera. Apply aloe vera gel to your gums to reduce bacteria and get relief from swollen gums.
- Hydrogen peroxide. Swish with a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide diluted with 50% water. This can kill bacteria associated with gum disease and bleeding gums. Be sure to use 100% pure aloe vera gel. You can apply the gel directly to your gums and massage gently.
- Turmeric. This spice has anti-inflammatory powers. You can include it in your food and/or take a supplement. Because turmeric is not well absorbed, be sure to take a product that contains black pepper, which enhances absorption.
- Saltwater. Swish with saltwater, which is a natural disinfectant, to help reduce bacterial buildup and swelling. Use ½ teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Swish for 8 to 10 seconds, then spit out and repeat.
- Stress. At least one study has indicated a link between periodontal disease and emotional stress. Since stress can weaken immune system function, it may make it more difficult for your body to fight off a gum infection. Practice stress reduction habits daily, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, visualization, or exercise.
- Baking soda. This is a great neutralizer of acids in the mouth that cause inflammation and also fights harmful bacteria. Combine a small amount of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste. Gently brush your teeth and gums with the mixture.
- Sage mouthwash. You can make your own mouthwash using sage. Add one teaspoon of dried sage to 8 ounces of boiling water. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then strain. Once it is cool, you can use as a mouthwash twice daily to calm inflamed gums and reduce bacteria.
When to contact your doctor
If your gums continue to bleed and be inflamed after trying various remedies, or your bleeding gums are affecting your ability to eat or you are in pain, contact your healthcare provider.
Declining estrogen levels can cause your gums to recede, bleed, and become inflamed. Be sure to get regular dental checkups and try the natural remedies suggested here to resolve your gum condition.