Do you suffer from red, swollen, or bleeding gums, or bad breath?
In this article, our Cambridge dentists at Country Dental will discuss the causes, treatment, and prevention of bleeding gums.
Common Causes of Bleeding Gums
Before you can treat this type of problem it is important to identify why your gums are bleeding. Occasional bleeding can be a sign that you are:
- Brushing your teeth too hard
- Failing to floss your teeth regularly
- Wearing dentures that don’t fit correctly
More serious causes of bleeding gums include:
- Gingivitis, which is the accumulation of plaque along the gum line
- Periodontitis, an advanced stage of gingivitis, where the gum, jawbone, and supportive tissues become infected
- Cigarette Smoking
- Vitamin Deficiency, particularly Vitamins C and K
- Hormonal Changes that occur during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause
- Bleeding Disorders, such as Hemophilia and Leukemia
- Blood Thinning Medications, such as warfarin, aspirin, and heparin
Our Cambridge dentists will be able to assess what could be causing your gums to bleed based your oral health and your overall health.
If your gums are still bleeding despite good oral health, your dentist may suggest visiting your Family Doctor to rule out other underlying issues. Blood work and a physical may be needed to help rule out other causes of bleeding gums.
Gum Bleeding Treatment Plan
Here is a list of gum bleeding treatment options for when bleeding gums are due to poor oral hygiene:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Floss your teeth once a day to reach the plaque your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash to get rid of leftover plaque and germs.
- Rinse with warm salt water if gums are still swollen.
- Pick a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush with less abrasive bristles and change your toothbrush every 3 months.
- Select foods high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Calcium. (see our post Minerals & Vitamins for Healthy Teeth & Gums)
- Drink your recommended 8 cups of water a day, especially after eating, to help wash down bacteria that can cause plaque.
- Say no to cigarettes and other tobacco products.
- Reduce your stress levels. When you relax, your body produces less of the stress hormone called cortisol, which can increase inflammation throughout the body.
- Make sure to schedule regular dentist examinations twice a year.
Don’t wait until you have a dental emergency if you regularly experience bleeding gums. Remember, bleeding is a common sign of gum disease and a number of other health issues that are critical to address quickly. See also this Canadian Dental Association article on How Gum Disease Occurs.
Contact Country Dental
You can book your appointment online with Country Dental today or call the dental office nearest you:
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Bleeding Gums FAQs
What do bleeding gums mean?
Bleeding gums could mean a lot of things from poor dental health, inadequate dental care, brushing too hard, plaque buildup, inflamed gums (gingivitis), or it may be a symptom of something more serious like periodontitis (gum & bone disease).
Why do bleeding gums occur?
The most common cause of bleeding gums is plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth causing inflammation of the gums (gingivitis).
Are bleeding gums normal?
Bleeding gums are not normal but are common and preventable.
Are bleeding gums serious?
On its own, bleeding gums may not be serious, but it could be an early indication of some underlying serious condition such as bone or gum disease (periodontitis).
Will bleeding gums go away?
With proper hygiene, bleeding gums will go away within a few weeks of good oral care unless the underlying cause is something more serious.
How to stop bleeding gums?
In most cases, you can stop bleeding gums with a visit to your dentist and good oral hygiene including flossing daily and brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day using a soft toothbrush.
Why do I have bleeding gums after flossing?
You may experience bleeding gums after flossing if you don’t normally floss or haven’t flossed in a long while.
What are bleeding gums called?
The medical term for bleeding gums is gingivitis.
Are bleeding gums and bad breath connected?
Bad breath or halitosis is often an early sign of gum disease, which is often a result of tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth and below the gum line.
Are bleeding gums and diabetes related?
High blood sugar due to diabetes can also create higher sugar levels in your saliva, which promotes bacteria growth, plaque buildup, and possible gum disease.
Can bleeding gums be a sign of cancer?
Cancer causes low blood platelets which makes it difficult to stop the bleeding if you suffer from bleeding gums.