6. You’re on certain medications
Ever wondered why your dentist asks if you’ve started any new medications? Some prescription drugs can raise your risk for bleeding gums. “Anticonvulsants can cause abnormal gum swelling,” says Doig. Some blood pressure medications, and immuno-suppressants can also cause gum inflammation and bleeding while other drugs can leave you with a dry mouth, another trigger for gum problems. “There are probably over 400 medications that can affect the amount of salivary flow in the mouth including antihistamines, sedatives, antidepressants, and anti-psychotics,” says Dr. Doig. Saliva is needed to wash away food debris and neutralize the gum-irritating acids that are produced by bacteria. “If you lose your salivary flow, it’s important to have good oral hygiene because your mouth isn’t getting the beneficial effects of the saliva,” says Dr. Doig.