Bleeding Gums

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Definition

What are bleeding gums?

Bleeding gums is a condition in which blood leaks from the gums and the spaces between the teeth. It is mainly due to inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at the gum line. Bleeding gums can be detrimental to the overall health.

How common are bleeding gums?

Bleeding gums are quite common. It can occur in patients in any gender at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Which signs and symptoms can bleeding gums usually be associated with?

Related signs and symptoms include:

  • Swollen, red, irritated gums
  • Gums that full away from the root of the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Changed tooth fitting

Causes

What causes bleeding gums?

You may have bleeding gums if you:

  • Brush too hard or your toothbrush isn’t soft enough
  • Just started a flossing routine and your gums aren’t used to it yet
  • Take certain medications, like blood thinners
  • Have inflamed gums because you’re pregnant (pregnancy gingivitis)
  • Have dentures that don’t fit well

Other possible causes of bleeding gums include:

Gingivitis

Bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis, or inflammation of your gums. It’s a common and mild form of gum disease, and it’s caused by a buildup of plaque at your gumline.

If you have gingivitis, your gums may be irritated, red, and swollen. They may bleed when you brush your teeth.

You can get rid of this problem by taking good care of your teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, rinse daily with an antibacterial mouthwash, and see your dentist regularly.

Periodontitis

If you don’t take care of your gingivitis, it can lead to periodontal disease, or periodontitis, a long-term gum condition that damages the tissue and bone that support your teeth.

If you have periodontitis, your gums may become inflamed and infected and pull away from the roots of your teeth.

When your gums bleed easily, it could be a sign of periodontal disease. Your teeth may get loose or separate. You could also get bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite, and red, swollen, tender gums.

If you don’t treat periodontal disease, you can lose some of your teeth.

Diabetes

Bleeding or swollen gums can be a warning sign of type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

When you have this disease, your mouth isn’t as powerful at fighting germs, so you’re more likely to get infections like gum disease. High blood sugar levels that go along with diabetes make it harder for your body to heal, which can make gum disease worse.

Leukemia

Bleeding gums can be a sign of leukemia, a type of cancer.

Your blood platelets help your body stop bleeding. If you have leukemia, your platelet count is low. That makes it harder for you to stop bleeding in different parts of your body, including your gums.

Thrombocytopenia

If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth and it doesn’t stop on its own, it may be a sign of thrombocytopenia.

If you have this condition, your body may not have enough platelets to form a blood clot. That can lead to too much bleeding in different parts of your body, including your gums.

Hemophilia or Von Willebrand Disease

If you have bleeding gums or heavy bleeding when you get a small cut or have dental work, it may be a sign of a disorder like hemophilia or von Willebrand disease.

With these conditions, your blood doesn’t clot properly, so you may have bleeding gums.

Vitamin C Deficiency

This vitamin helps your tissue grow and repair. It heals wounds and strengthens your bones and teeth.

If your body doesn’t have enough vitamin C, you may feel weak and irritable. Over time, you can also get swollen and bleeding gums.

Scurvy

It’s rare, but a severe shortage of vitamin C in your body can lead to scurvy, a disease related to poor nutrition. It can make you weak, cause anemia, and lead to bleeding under your skin.

Bleeding gums are a typical sign of scurvy.

Vitamin K Deficiency

If you notice a lot of bleeding from your gums, it may be because you don’t get enough vitamin K.

This vitamin helps your blood clot properly. It’s also good for your bones. If you don’t get enough through your diet or your body doesn’t absorb it well, it can cause bleeding problems.

The conditions mentioned above are some common causes of this symptom. Consult with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for bleeding gums?

There are many risk factors for this symptom, such as:

  • Wearing improperly fitted dentures
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Pregnancy
  • Bleeding disorders

Please consult with your doctor for further information.

When to see your doctor

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you or your loved one has any of the following:

  • The bleeding is severe or long-term (chronic)
  • Your gums continue to bleed even after treatment
  • You have other unexplained symptoms with the bleeding

On noticing one of these symptoms or having any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor to get the best solutions for your situation.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage bleeding gums?

These following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with bleeding gums:

  • Visit the dentist at least once every 6 months for plaque removal. Follow your dentist’s home care instructions.
  • Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush at least twice a day. It is best if you can brush after every meal. Also, flossing teeth twice a day can prevent plaque from building up.
  • Your dentist may tell you to rinse with salt water or hydrogen peroxide and water. Do notuse mouthwashes that contain alcohol, which can make the problem worse.
  • It can help to follow a balanced, healthy diet. Try to avoid snacking between meals and cut down on the carbohydrates you eat.
  • Have a periodontal exam.
  • Do notuse tobacco, since it makes bleeding gums worse. Tobacco use can also mask other problems that cause bleeding of the gums.
  • Control gum bleeding by applying pressure directly on the gums with a gauze pad soaked in ice water.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency, take vitamin supplements.
  • Avoid aspirin unless your health care provider has recommended that you take it.
  • If side effects of a medicine are causing the bleeding gums, ask your provider to prescribe a different drug. Never change your medicine without first talking to your provider.
  • Use an oral irrigation device on the low setting to massage your gums.
  • See your dentist if your dentures or other dental appliances do not fit well or are causing sore spots on your gums.
  • Follow your dentist’s instructions on how to brush and floss so you can avoid hurting your gums.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor for the best solutions.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: December 13, 2018 | Last Modified: December 13, 2018

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