What Causes Bleeding Gums

One of the most common symptoms associated with gum disease is bleeding gums. Gum disease can make the gums more sensitive and more likely to bleed. Patients should not ignore gums which bleed and the issue should be taken seriously. Bleeding gums can suggest there may be an underlying health issue which requires treatment. In some cases, bleeding gums could be the result of something simple such as ill-fitting dentures or aggressive pressure when brushing. Other times, patients with frequent gum bleeding may have a more serious condition which may include gum disease, leukemia, vitamin deficiencies, or other serious issues. Patients may also have poor oral hygiene.

When plaque accumulates around the gumline, it results in gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease. Plaque is a bacteria-containing substance which is quite sticky. Patients can typically remove plaque through good oral hygiene and regular brushing. The failure to remove plaque, however, can result in it hardening into tartar, which is incredibly difficult to remove and requires a professional cleaning. It is possible for tartar to cause gingivitis and gums which are red, swollen, tender, and bleed.

Periodontitis is the more advanced form of gum disease. Untreated gingivitis can progress into periodontitis over time. The disease is an infection of the gums, jawbone, and connective tissues. In cases of severe periodontitis, the teeth can become loose or even fall out.

It is important for patients to use a soft bristled toothbrush when brushing their teeth. Medium or form bristles can cause damage to the gums and enamel. Gentle pressure should be applied with a circular motion during brushing. Back and forth motions or aggressive pressure can cause damage and bleeding. In some cases, patients find it beneficial to use an electric toothbrush which is a specially designed tool that can effectively clean the teeth.

A vitamin C or K deficiency may be another cause for bleeding gums. If a patient suspects they have a vitamin deficiency, they can ask their doctor to check their vitamin levels. It is important to consume a well-balanced diet which contains plenty of fruits and vegetables. The following foods are good sources of vitamin C: bell peppers, broccoli, citrus fruits and juices, potatoes, strawberries, and tomatoes. Vitamin K rich foods include watercress, kale, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, olive or canola oil, and soybeans.

Patients who wear dentures can be more prone to gums which bleed. Dentures which do not fit properly can rub against the gums and result in bleeding. If a patient has dentures and experiences bleeding gums, they should follow up with their dentist or orthodontist who can make necessary adjustments.

Pregnancy is another common cause for bleeding gums. Patients who are pregnant can experience significant hormonal changes and notice increased gum sensitivity. Their gums may also bleed more easily. Leukemia or hemophilia are blood disorders which can also be the cause of bleeding gums. Some types of medications, such as blood thinners, can make it easier for a patient to have gums which bleed. Do not stop taking any medications or make a modification before first following up with a physician.

Good oral hygiene is critical for all patients. This includes brushing the teeth at least twice each day, flossing daily, and routine dental visits. During the visits to the dentist, patients will receive a professional cleaning and thorough examination.

In order to determine the cause of bleeding gums, patients should follow up with their dentist as soon as possible. The dentist will identify the cause and ensure the issue is treated properly. Prompt treatment is critical in preventing long-term problems. This also helps ensure the patient receives the best outcome possible.

When Should I Be Concerned with Bleeding Gums

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