Why are my Gums Bleeding?
You practice a good daily hygiene routine by brushing your teeth twice a day, but you still notice your bleeding gums. It could be the result of something simple, such as being too aggressive with your brushing or flossing techniques. Or it can be an indication of a health condition that would suggest visiting your dentist to identify the cause. Gum disease is the leading cause of bleeding gums. Often an exam might identify other health problems. The gums are an intricate part of the soft tissue lining in your mouth. They envelope your teeth and create a seal surrounding them. Unlike the soft tissue of your lips and cheeks, most of your gums are tightly bound to the underlying bone, helping resist the constant friction of the passage of food.
A Variety of Common Causes for Bleeding Gums
Oral health issues are the primary cause of bleeding gums. Gingivitis, which is the first stage, and periodontitis, are levels of gum disease that infect and inflame your gums, resulting in your gums becoming sensitive and prone to bleeding and swelling. You may also have bleeding gums from other reasons:
- The primary cause, having gum disease, which causes inflammation and gums bleeding.
- The bristles of your toothbrush are too stiff, or you brush too aggressively.
- You are not gentle and patient with your flossing routine, cutting your gums.
- You have a deficiency in either vitamin C or vitamin K.
- You are taking certain medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or blood thinners.
- A pregnancy with changing hormones is causing your gums to bleed.
- Your loose dentures do not fit well causing abrasion and bleeding.
- You have an improper dental restoration, such as a bridge or crown.
- A condition, such as diabetes or leukemia.
- The lack of clotting cells, or platelets.
Treating Your Bleeding Gums
If you have gums bleeding for more than a week, you will want to schedule an appointment with your dentist for an evaluation to identify the primary cause. Some remedies can be addressed at home with simply solutions like a mouthwash or saltwater rinse. But the leading cause of bleeding gums is that of gum disease. Quite common, over 50% of American adults over the age of thirty have had some level of gum disease. Your dentist will evaluate your teeth and gums, take x-rays, and identify if indeed you have gum disease. The treatment is simple. Gum disease is the direct result of plaque and tartar building up on your teeth. This plaque harbors damaging bacteria that immediately infects your gums. With a simple professional teeth cleaning, removing the plaque with a scaler or ultrasonic device, you will eliminate the source of the infection. In a few quick days your gums will heal normally, the inflammation will recede, the pink color will return, and any bleeding will subside.
Your dentist will also assist you if the source of your bleeding gums is another cause. A blood sample can identify deficiencies. They can also immediately identify if the issue is aggressive brushing or improper flossing. If you are having gums bleeding, schedule a dental examination soon.