Bleeding gums might indicate a need for Vitamin C

If your gums are bleeding, it could be a symptom of gingivitis/periodontal/disease. This suggests attention to brushing and flossing. If this is not the cause of the bleeding, you might want to check your Vitamin C levels.vitamin c - paid - Depositphotos 113402070 s-2019


A recent study concluded: “The results showed that bleeding of the gums on gentle probing, or gingival bleeding tendency, and also bleeding in the eye, or retinal hemorrhaging, were associated with low vitamin C levels in the bloodstream.” These researchers also learned that “increasing the daily intake of vitamin C in those with low vitamin C plasma levels helped to reverse these bleeding issues.” Further, they pointed out that “both a gum bleeding tendency and retinal bleeding could be a sign of general trouble in one’s microvascular system, of a microvascular bleeding tendency in the brain, heart, and kidneys.”

Some key points emerging from the study:

  • Successfully reversing increased gingival bleeding tendency with vitamin C will not prevent strokes or other serious symptoms.
  • Current vitamin C recommendations were drafted primarily to prevent scurvy (a deadly disease caused by lack of vitamin C.
  • Current recommendations are, in fact, too low. Insufficient vitamin C levels can lead to a bleeding tendency.
  • Raising one’s vitamin C level can be accomplished often with consumption of non-processed foods like peppers, kale, or kiwis.
  • If vitamin C levels cannot be improved with diet, a supplement of 100 – 200 milligrams daily is recommended.
  • People on some specialized diets – a paleo diet, for example – need to be aware of their vitamin C levels. Many vitamin C-rich foods are avoided due to their sugar and carb content.
  • “People who exclusively eat lean meats and avoid offal, the vitamin-rich organ meats, may be at a particularly high risk for a low vitamin C intake.”

Vitamin C is important for gum health. It is also important for a number of other serious health conditions. Keep brushing and flossing twice daily. See your dentist twice each year. And eat a vitamin C-rich diet. See your doctor if you are experiencing bleeding not related to gingivitis.