How to Stop Bleeding Gums and Relieve the Pain

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Bleeding gums don't make for a happy mouth, so here are some tips to get you smiling again.

First, figure out the cause. Many cases stem from too much plaque buildup, which you can tackle at home. But if you're bleeding is severe or long term, you could have gum disease. And a dentist is going to be the fastest route to a healthy mouth.

In the short term, here are a few tricks to find relief. First, check your toothbrush. You'll want to switch to a soft-bristled brush that will be gentler on your gums.

Try giving yourself a gum massage. It's not just your shoulders that need a little TLC. Use an electric toothbrush on a low setting, or even a finger. Stimulation makes for happy gums.

Or, to stop bleeding, try a gauze pad soaked in ice water. The coolness eases pain. And holding tight keeps bleeding in check.

Skip the snacks and cut down on starchy carbs. A healthy diet helps in many ways. Chewing raw veggies, like carrots, trigger saliva, and helps keep your mouth clean.

Bleeding gums can be painful, but if you step up your cleaning routine-- brush, floss, and use an anti-bacterial rinse daily-- you can take a bite out of the discomfort.