Bleeding Gums Linked To Vitamin C Deficiency

bleeding gums vitamin c

Many people deal with annoying, unhealthy bleeding gums. Often, conventional dental advice amounts to increasing flossing and brushing. And while that advice may have merit, it may also not detail the entire story.

A new University of Washington study suggests that increasing vitamin C intake could help resolve bleeding gums. The study’s authors believe that we aren’t looking into the real reasons are gums bleed and instead opting to increased brushing.

“When you see your gums bleed, the first thing you should think about is not, I should brush more. You should try to figure out why your gums are bleeding. And vitamin C deficiency is one possible reason,” said the study‘s lead author Philippe Hujoel, a practicing dentist and professor of oral health sciences in the UW School of Dentistry.

Hujoel studied 15 clinical trials throughout six countries in determining his findings. Over 8,000 CDC records of Americans were used in the data pool. The study found that bleeding gums, bleeding in the eye, or retinal hemorrhaging, were linked to low levels of vitamin C. Moreover, the authors found that increasing vitamin C improved the aforementioned conditions.

Hujoel says that the results may show that bleeding gums and retinal bleeding are microvascular system problems. He suggest that people eat more high vitamin C natural foods that amount to 100 to 200 milligrams of vitamin C a day. He also warned that people on specialized diets, particularly low-carb, pay special attention.

“Vitamin C-rich fruits such as kiwis or oranges are rich in sugar and thus typically eliminated from a low-carb diet.”

Hujoel doesn’t mention whether or not vitamin C supplements are a good idea.

This isn’t the first time that vitamin C deficiency and bleeding gums have been linked. Two studies co-authored by former dean of the UW School of Dentistry Paul Robertson (published in 1986 and 1991) showed gum bleeding as a an indication for low vitamin C levels.

Over the years, the findings have somehow lost their luster.

“There was a time in the past when gingival bleeding was more generally considered to be a potential marker for a lack of vitamin C. But over time, that’s been drowned out or marginalized by this overattention to treating the symptom of bleeding with brushing or flossing, rather than treating the cause,” Hujoel said.

Author: Jim Satney

PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.

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