Bleeding gums are caused by inadequate plaque removal. Plaque contains germs which attack the healthy tissue around the teeth, causing the gums to become inflamed and irritated, which may cause them to bleed when brushing or flossing. This kind of condition is known as Gingivitis and is the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is usually a painless condition and bleeding gums may be the only symptom.
Some other signs may include: swollen, red or tender gums; persistent bad breath or taste; teeth that are loose; and a change in the way your teeth fit when you bite. At this stage the disease can be treated and completely reversed. So it is important not to ignore your bleeding gums.
Plaque that is not removed from bleeding gums will eventually cause the gums to separate and recede from the teeth. Once your gums begin to recede, pockets can form between the teeth and gums allowing germs to get trapped inside these pockets, attacking the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
Plaque will eventually harden into tartar. At this point, Gingivitis has progressed into the more serious condition called Periodontitis.
Effects of Bleeding Gums to overall health
Bleeding gums causes gum Disease as a more serious conditions including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Although in rare cases, even men’s sexual health can be affected by gum disease. Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association between gum disease and these other conditions.
Bleeding gums causes are most often a sign of gum disease, but can also point to a number of other health problems as well. Occasional bleeding of the gums can be the result of brushing your teeth too vigorously or wearing dentures that don’t fit correctly. Frequent episodes of gum bleeding, however, can indicate more serious conditions, such as:
- periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease)
- leukaemia (cancer of the blood)
- vitamin deficiency
- lack of clotting cells (platelets)
Why are Bleeding Gums a Sign of?
Bleeding of the gums can be as a sign that you have or may develop gum disease as we discussed earlier. Ongoing gum bleeding may be due to plaque buildup on the teeth. It can also be a sign of a serious medical condition. For some people, even if they are die- hard flossers, chances are that they may see an occasional drop or two of blood post string- session.
If your gums are bleeding, know that it’s not a normal thing, not even when you have your teeth prophessionally cleaned. If your gums are bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth, you may be having periodontal, which is commonly known as gum disease. This gum disease is a contagious bacterial infection that can wreak havoc in your health. It can destroy gums, erode your jawbone, and lead to tooth loss.
There are two fronts to bleeding gums;
- The plague- which is a biofilm of bacteria and its waste products which first create the irritation to the gum tissue.
- Body reaction to that wounding, the inflammatory response.
When all these two are put together and you have got inflamed, bleeding gums. The longer you have inflammation, the more at risk you are for all kinds of systemic illnesses, ranging from allergies to cancer.
What do Bleeding Gums Mean? Causes
Bleeding gums are most often a sign of disease of the gum, but can also point to a number of other health problems as well. However, bleeding of the gums can be the result of brushing your teeth too vigorously or wearing dentures that don’t fit correctly.
Dental Conditions that Cause Bleeding Gums
Dental care issues are the primary cause of bleeding gums. Gingivitis or inflammation of the gums and periodontitis make your gums sensitive and more prone to bleeding.
A number of us may develop gingivitis when plaque remains on the gum line for too long. Plaque refers to the debris and bacteria that stick to your teeth. Brushing your teeth removes plaque and can prevent you from developing cavities, also known as dental caries. Plaque may stay on your gum line, however, if you don’t brush and floss properly. The accumulation of plaque near your gums can cause gingivitis.
Symptoms of gingivitis include:
- puffy gums
- soreness in the mouth and around the gums
- bleeding gums
Periodontal disease, or periodontitis, can occur when gingivitis continues to an advanced stage. Periodontal is the infection of the gums, jawbone, and supportive tissues that connect your teeth and gums. Periodontitis can cause your teeth to loosen or fall out.
Bleeding gum causes can also be deficiencies of vitamins C and K which cause gums to bleed easily. However, vitamin deficiencies aren’t often seen in people who live in developed countries, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. This is because healthy children and adults living in developed areas of the world have access to vitamins C and K through food and supplements.
Talk to your dentist to check your levels of vitamins C and K if you encounter bleeding gums that aren’t caused by improper dental care. Follow a diet that contains both of these nutrients to ensure that you’re getting the vitamins you need to stay healthy.
Foods rich in vitamin C include:
- citrus fruits and juices,
- broccoli, strawberries,
- tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers
Foods rich in vitamin K include:
- Watercress, kale, spinach
- Swiss chard
- mustard greens
- canola oil
- olive oil
Other Causes of Bleeding Gums
People who wear dentures also may experience bleeding of the gums from time to time. This is more likely when the dentures are too small or fit too tightly. Consult your dentist or orthodontist if dentures or other oral appliances are causing your gums to bleed. You may need to take new impressions to create a better-fitting mouthpiece.
This is also another common cause of gum bleeding in women. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause the gums to become more sensitive.
These kind of conditions such as haemophilia and leukaemia, can also increase your chance of bleeding gums. Your gums might bleed more often if you take blood-thinning medications. Drugs in this class include warfarin, aspirin, and heparin.
More other bleeding gum causes are:
Age: The incidence of gum disease increases with age. 50% of adults 30 years or older and 70% of those over 65 have gum disease.
Stress: Stress is linked to many serious conditions, including periodontal disease. Research demonstrates that stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal diseases.
Medications: Some prescription medications can increase your risk of gum disease such as anti-depressants, certain heart medications and oral contraceptives. Check with your doctor or dentist to learn if your medication can affect your gums.
Genetics: Some of us are just predisposed to get gum disease. If you think this applies to you, your dentist can perform a simple genetic test to determine your risk.
Other risk factors:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poor nutrition
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Tobacco use
Bleeding Gums without Brushing
It is possible that gingivitis could be the cause of bleeding gums without brushing. However, bleeding of the gums without any trauma could represent a potentially serious underlying disorder and should be evaluated by your primary care physician. Gingivitis more typically causes bleeding on the toothbrush with even minimal and light brushing.
You should have your blood counts checked to make sure that you do not have a very low platelet count or another type of functional clotting disorder, which could be a predispose to easy bleeding and bruising of the gums. Bleeding gums can also be a sign of scurvy, which is a problem caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin C. This could be the cause of your symptoms if you follow a very poor diet low particularly low in citrus.
If your blood tests produce fine results and your doctor thinks the symptoms are more likely caused by gingivitis, then you should seek further care from your dentist or a periodontist. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately.
Bleeding Gums when Brushing
You’re brushing your teeth and notice a bit of pink when you spit out the toothpaste. You might notice some bleeding when you floss. Although the smallest amount of blood might not seem like a big deal, if your gums are bleeding consistently, you shouldn’t ignore it. Changing your oral care routine can also make your gums bleed, at least at first.
If you notice bleeding gums after your child brushes their teeth, this may be a sign of a serious health issue. Even though everyone has experienced a little gum bleeding every now and then, excessive or frequent bleeding can be a symptom of a much larger problem.
Causes bleeding Gums when brushing
There are numerous conditions why your child’s gums or your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth. The main cause is usually from a build-up of plaque at the gum line.
When plaque is left around the gum line for too long, it can either:
- Inflame the gums, which causes them to bleed and leads to gingivitis
- Harden into tartar, which will increase the bleeding and potentially turn into periodontitis
However, there are also several other reasons for bleeding gums after brushing:
- Brushing too hard
- Bad flossing technique
- Tooth- or gum-related infections
- Vitamin K deficiency
If you notice a lot of blood and think your child is having an emergency, seek urgent care immediately. The best way to know for sure why your child’s gums bleed after brushing their teeth is to visit your nearest dentist.
Bleeding Gums Symptoms Checker
Dentistry by Design is helping you find all your causes or conditions for your current symptoms for mouth, teeth or oral health care in one location. Please remember the Dental Symptoms Checker provided is for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Bleeding, redness, and painful or sore gums can be a symptom of inflammation of the gums that arises due to a number of different causes. Bleeding of the gums is sometimes referred to as gingival bleeding, and it may occur during brushing or flossing. The soreness can be accompanied by swelling of the gum tissues.
Blood-thinner medications are another potential cause of bleeding gums. The hormonal changes during pregnancy can also increase the sensitivity of the gums, which may lead to increased bleeding in some cases. Those with chronic conditions that affect the function of the immune system, such as HIV infection or diabetes, may also have an increased tendency to develop gingivitis.
What to do when your Gums are bleeding
As we have looked at different conditions that may cause your gums to bleed, let us also find out ways to handle these situations. What step to take while your gums are bleeding may differ as per the cause of the bleeding. Here we are going to look at general activities that may help to handle your situation.
You may carry out the following:
Step up your oral care game
As per research findings, the biggest cause of bleeding gums is plaque build-up along the gum line. When you don’t remove plaque in a timely manner, it hardens into tartar, a calcified material that plaque adheres to and continues to irritate the gums, which cause them to bleed and can progress into more advanced forms of gum disease. The best way to reduce plaque build-up and your risk for bleeding gums is to up your oral care routine.
Do the brushing twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste. Floss at least once a day as well; gums can sometimes stop bleeding with regular flossing. Seeing your dentist on a regular basis not just when you have a problem or concern is also a must to keep your mouth in the best shape.
Take a look at your tools
If you do brush and floss regularly and get your semi-annual dental visit in, your oral hygiene care tools could be what’s causing your gums bleed. Although it might seem that a toothbrush with medium or firm bristles cleans your teeth and gums more deeply or thoroughly, harder bristles usually just cause irritation – which can be why your gums are bleeding.
Using a toothbrush with soft bristles, such as Colgate 360, which cleans your teeth and gums thoroughly without irritation.
In some cases, it might not be the tools that are causing the bleeding, but the way you’re using them. If you’ve been out of the habit of flossing, start again. You might see a bit of blood at your gum line, but remember to always use a gentle hand and avoid pressing the floss against your teeth and gums to hard.
Maintain a healthy diet
What you eat and when you eat it also plays a part in keeping your gums from bleeding. Foods that contain lots of sugar or simple carbohydrates increase your risk for tooth and gum problems, as sugar creates an ideal environment for plaque to form. Commit to a diet that is low in sugar and high in the necessary nutrients found in foods like vegetables.
Do not stop using them. Just remember to eat them in moderation, and brush after these snacks so that the sugar doesn’t have time to stick around.
Investigate your medicine
Certain medications also increase the likelihood that your gums will bleed. Some over-the-counter pain relievers, like aspirin, thin the blood and can therefore increase bleeding. It’s also possible for a prescription medication to cause gum bleeding. If that is the case, your doctor might prescribe a different dose or a different medication altogether.
Visit your dentist
If changing your oral care habits, adjusting your medications, and maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t help your gums stop bleeding, your next step should be to make an appointment with your dentist. He will examine your teeth and gums and determine if you have a more serious condition, such as advanced gum disease.
Your dentist might also take an x-ray of the teeth and gums. If he believes treatment is needed, such as a deep cleaning or periodontal surgery, you’ll likely visit with a periodontist, who specializes in treating gum disease.
In some cases, bleeding gums are no big deal, but in certain instances can warrant professional treatment. With the right diagnosis and personal care, bleeding gums can become a thing of the past.
How do I get my Gums to Stop Bleeding
Although it might seem normal to experience a little bit of bleeding while brushing or flossing, it shouldn’t be ignored. Bleeding gums could be a sign of a number of dental conditions, but it’s usually a symptom of gum disease. In some cases, the causes of bleeding gums may be the result of injuries or infections of the teeth.
Being aware of the symptoms can help you catch gum disease early and possibly reverse it through gum disease treatment. Bleeding is often one of the first signs there’s a problem with your gums. Bleeding that’s accompanied by red, swollen gums, tenderness, bad breath or tooth sensitivity are symptoms of gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Bleeding accompanied by receding gums is also a common symptom of gum disease.
Bleeding Gums Treatment
The best bleeding gums treatment is to remove from your teeth the plaque bacteria that causes gum disease. When dental plaque builds up, it turns into tartar, a hard, sticky substance that adheres to your teeth. Without regular teeth cleaning, dental tartar can become a breeding ground for even more plaque, which can creep below the gum line and lead to an infection that causes bleeding gums.
So if you notice that you have bleeding gums, see a dentist as soon as you can. Seeking bleeding gums treatment at the first sign of a problem can help reverse gingivitis and help prevent periodontitis disease.
Other treatment options, such as scaling and root planning procedures, slow down the process of gum disease. If you suffer from an advanced form of periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend ongoing bleeding gums treatment or periodontal therapy. In some cases, dental surgery may be needed to control the bleeding.
How to Stop Bleeding Gums
The best way to stop bleeding gums is to see your dentist. Your dentist can give you tips on how to stop bleeding gums in between dental visits. That advice might include some of the following tips:
- Use a soft toothbrush – and brush properly! Brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day and after meals. Hard brushing can further damage the soft tissues of your mouth.
- Floss at least once a day and be sure to floss beyond the gum line to remove more plaque.
- Control bleeding by applying pressure to the area with a cold compress.
- Rinse with salt water or hydrogen peroxide to keep the area clean. Avoidmouthwashes that contain alcohol, which can dry out your mouth.
- Stay away fromsmoking and other tobacco products, which can aggravate bleeding gums
- Eat a balanced diet and limitsnacking between meals. Carbohydrates and sugars feed dental plaque.
- Try an oral irrigation device, commonly known as a “water pick,” to clear debris from around the gum line.
- Have your dentures aligned as needed.
If you have bleeding gums, visit a dentist. A dentist is the expert you can count on to explain the causes of bleeding gums and to advise a treatment plan.
- Causes of bleeding gums: http://www.healthline.com/symptom/bleeding-gums
- Bleeding gums and their causes: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003062.htm
- Bleeding gums: http://www.medicinenet.com/bleeding_gums/symptoms.htm
- Five things you can do if your gums are bleeding: http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/article/five-things-you-can-do-if-your-gums-are-bleeding-1014