Bleeding gums are a problem for dentists. There is a tendency to think that a dentist only takes care of cavities. This is not so. Our mouth environment is created from the combination of the teeth, gums, tongue and mouth mucosa. Dr. Ethan Shuman deals with all these aspects of the mouth.
The most common cause for bleeding gums is plaque which settles on the gum line and if not removed causes gingivitis- the first stage of gum disease. But there are other reasons which can be more serious.
Reasons for gum bleeding
- Inflamed gums/ gum disease- usually as a result of improper brushing and flossing.
- Infection- either of the gums themselves or tooth-related.
- Vitamin deficiency
- Blood thinning medication- these decrease the ability of the blood to clot. It is very important if you are on such medications to let your dentist know already on the first appointment.
- Pregnancy – during pregnancy gums tend to swell up and bleed. These symptoms usually decrease after giving birth.
- Bleeding gums may also be a sign for a more serious disease such as leukemia. In these cases early detection can be crucial! If either the bleeding from the gums continues for a long period, or it with the bleeding gums there are other symptoms, a warning bell should be sounded. If you have any doubt, make an appointment immediately!
In case of gum disease, the most common reason for bleeding, it is important to catch the disease early before it progresses. Gingivitis which is the first stage can very easily turn into periodontitis which is a more severe form of gum disease and besides bleeding gums can include loose teeth, even to a stage where they need to be extracted because the tooth has no support.
The best way to reduce bleeding gums and gum disease is to make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day, use dental floss once a day, and see your dentist on a regular basis.