Why are my Gums Bleeding?
You might get frustrated because you believe you exercise good daily hygiene habits with your teeth and yet you still notice your gums will bleed. It may very well be because of something remarkably simple, such as being too aggressive with your brushing or your flossing technique. Or it might be a sign of another health condition. You should see your dentist and have an examination. Bleeding gums are the primary symptom of gum disease. It can be suggestive of other possible health problems. The gums play an important role of the infrastructure of the mouth. They surround your teeth and provide a seal around them. Unlike the soft tissue of your lips and cheeks, your gums are tightly bound to the underlying bone which helps with friction resistance of food passing over them.
Some Common Causes for Bleeding Gums
Oral health issues are the leading cause of bleeding gums. The inflammation of infected gums, gingivitis, and periodontitis, are stages of gum disease that infect and damage your gums, making the gums sensitive and prone to both bleeding and swelling. You might also have bleeding gums from some other reasons:
- Having gingivitis, the common disease that causes inflammation of your gums.
- You simply brush too aggressively, or the bristles of your toothbrush are too firm or stiff.
- You just started a flossing routine, or again are too aggressive.
- You take a medication, such as blood thinners.
- You are pregnant and your gums are inflamed and bleeding gums because of changes to your hormones.
- Your dentures are loose, do not fit well, and cause excessive bleeding.
- You have improper dental restorations.
- You have a deficiency in either vitamin C or vitamin K.
- You suffer from a disease or an infection, such a leukemia.
- You have a lack of clotting cells, or platelets.
Treating Your Bleeding Gums
If your gums are bleeding for more than a week, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to identify the primary cause. Sometimes bleeding gums can be addressed at home with simply remedies like a mouthwash or saltwater rinses. But the leading cause is that of gum disease. More than half of American adults over the age of thirty have had some stage of gum disease. Your dentist will evaluate your teeth and gums, capture a few x-rays, and identify the primary cause. If it is gum disease the treatment is simple. Gum disease is the direct result of plaque and tartar building up on the enamel of your teeth. This plaque carries damaging bacteria that immediately infects the gum tissue when it comes in contact. With a professional teeth cleaning, the dentist will remove the plaque with a scaler or ultrasonic device, therefore removing the source of the infection. In only a few days your gums will heal, the inflammation will recede, the color will return to a healthy pink and the bleeding will subside.
Your dentist will also assist you if the source of your bleeding gums is something else. Lab work will identify deficiencies. They can also immediately identify if the cause is aggressive brushing or improper flossing. If you are indeed experiencing bleeding gums, please schedule a dental examination soon.