Bleeding gums can be an indication of an underlying oral health issue. Below are some common causes of gum bleeding and what you can do when you are affected.
- Gingivitis or Gum Disease: The most common cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis occurs due to the buildup of plaque and bacteria along the gum line, leading to inflammation and bleeding. Your dentist will assess the severity of gum disease, provide professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, and recommend proper oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings to manage and treat gum disease.
- Issues with Oral Hygiene: Inadequate oral hygiene practices can contribute to gum bleeding. Insufficient brushing and flossing allow plaque to accumulate, leading to gum irritation and bleeding. Your dentist will educate and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques to improve oral hygiene and reduce gum bleeding.
- Improper Brushing Techniques: Aggressive or improper toothbrushing techniques, such as using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing too forcefully, can injure the gums and cause bleeding. Your dentist will provide guidance on proper toothbrushing techniques, recommend a soft-bristled toothbrush, and suggest gentle brushing motions to prevent gum damage.
- Medications: Some medications, such as blood thinners, can increase the risk of gum bleeding. If bleeding gums are a side effect of medication, your dentist will evaluate the situation and potentially collaborate with the prescribing physician to find alternative medications or adjust dosages if appropriate.
- Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes during pregnancy or certain phases of the menstrual cycle can cause gum sensitivity and bleeding. Your dentist will provide oral care recommendations and monitor gum health during these periods.
- Systemic Conditions: Bleeding gums can be a symptom of certain systemic conditions, such as vitamin deficiencies (particularly vitamin C and vitamin K), blood disorders, or impaired immune function. Your dentist will examine your oral health, consider your medical history, and work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to identify and address any underlying systemic causes.
During a dental visit, you should expect your dentist to conduct a thorough examination of your oral health, including evaluating the gums. They may perform a periodontal assessment, take X-rays if necessary, and ask about your oral hygiene routine and medical history. Based on the findings, your dentist can provide appropriate treatment options, which may include professional cleanings, gum disease treatment, oral hygiene instructions, dietary recommendations, or referral to a specialist if needed.
Contact your dentist for more information.