We all experience bleeding gums sometimes — and yes, it can be alarming. However, it’s important to know that there are several common reasons for bleeding gums. In this post, we’ll go over the more common causes of bleeding gums and what you can do about this problem.
If you have any questions about why your gums are bleeding, don’t forget that our experienced team at Atlanta Center for Advanced Periodontics is here to help you!
Bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease
Gum disease is caused by inflammation of the gums. This inflammation is a result of unremoved plaque that builds up along the gum line and then hardens into tartar — which is very difficult to remove by yourself.
This issue can cause the tissue surrounding your teeth to recede away from the tooth. This results in pockets between the tooth and the gum line that can hold bacteria, which could irritate the soft tissue and cause bleeding.
The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Although it generally isn’t painful, left untreated it can develop into periodontitis, a serious issue that can lead to bone and tooth loss.
Other symptoms that may indicate you have gum disease include:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Receding gums (excessive space between your teeth and gum line)
- Tooth sensitivity
Fortunately, there are various treatments for gum disease depending on the stage of your diagnosis. The first phases of this condition are easily treatable with a professional cleaning. The sooner you get help, the easier and faster it will be to treat your problem!
Other causes of bleeding gums
Other common reasons might be:
- You are brushing too hard. Many people believe brushing harder is better, but it’s actually counterproductive. Your gums can hurt and bleed if you apply too much pressure while brushing, so brush your teeth using gentle movements. Also, consider using an electric toothbrush, since they are usually more effective in removing plaque than traditional brushes.
- Improper flossing techniques. For some, it’s easy to hurt their gums while flossing (especially if they have crowded teeth). If you have difficulty flossing between teeth because of a lack of space, talk to your periodontist.
- Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and menopause. Pregnant women are more prone to experience bleeding gums, particularly during the last trimester when hormones rise in preparation for delivery. However, in these cases, gum bleeding is only temporary and is not a cause of concern.
- Other factors that can lead to bleeding gums include diabetes, the use of blood thinners, leukemia, bleeding disorders, and deficiency of Vitamin C and/or Vitamin K.
When to see a periodontist about bleeding gums
See your trusted periodontist right away if:
- Your bleeding doesn’t stop after a few days.
- You have sensitive teeth or your gums are swollen.
- You have bad breath for no reason.
Keeping your gums healthy
- Maintaining the health of your gums and mouth is easy:
- Keep up with good oral hygiene habits by brushing and flossing regularly.
- Eat a balanced diet and include foods rich in Vitamins C and K.
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol, as these increase the risk of gum disease and can contribute to other health issues.
- Don’t skip your regular check-ups and cleanings. Your periodontist will be able to check for any signs of gum disease before it gets worse, which could help prevent future complications.
Are bleeding gums something to worry about?
Bleeding gums are not necessarily a sign of something serious — it could just be a sign that you are brushing too hard.
However, if you are experiencing bleeding gums that don’t subside after a few days, accompanied by any of the symptoms that we mentioned above, it could be a wake-up call. The best thing that you can do is see your periodontist for an evaluation. They will be able to tell you if there is something more serious going on and help get it under control quickly.
If you have any questions about bleeding gums or gum disease or would like to schedule an appointment with our periodontists, please contact us today.