Gingivitis is the most common condition that can cause bleeding gums, which can be prevented by maintaining proper oral hygiene. Along with gingivitis, many other conditions can cause gum problems, which are discussed in this article.
Bleeding gums can be a sign of serious gum disease. This condition often indicates that you are at a risk of getting gum disease. If your gums bleed while brushing, then it can be a sign of gingivitis, which can gradually progress or worsen to cause periodontal disease. However, gums can also bleed due factors other than gingivitis. Sometimes, they can bleed due to an injury or trauma as well.
What Causes Gums to Bleed
Gingivitis refers to the swelling or inflammation of the gums, which can be accompanied by tenderness. Such gums can bleed easily while brushing the teeth. Gingivitis is associated with poor oral hygiene, which causes the excessive growth of bacteria inside the mouth. Bacteria form plaques and eventually tartar, which in turn results in swollen and bleeding gums. Gingivitis can be prevented and also reversed with regular brushing and flossing.
Periodontal disease or periodontitis is the condition that develops from gingivitis, if it is left untreated. It is a serious gum disease, that damages the gum tissues and the bones that support the teeth. Periodontitis can cause gum line recession and the loss of teeth. The signs of periodontitis are, excessive swelling, bleeding, tender gums, the development of pus between the teeth, bright red or purplish gums, and bad breath. Periodontal disease calls for immediate medical attention.
Brushing your teeth vigorously is not good for your teeth and gums. Your gums can be injured by harsh brushing, and the enamel of your teeth can also erode slowly. This can expose the dentin layer of the teeth that contains the nerve fibers, which can ultimately make your teeth very sensitive to acidic foods, sweets, and hot or cold foods.
In women, gum problems can be associated with hormonal changes. Women may experience bleeding gums during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and also at the time of menstruation. An increase in female hormones can increase the supply of blood to the gums, which may result in swollen and tender gums that can bleed quite easily.
The deficiency of certain nutrients, especially vitamin K deficiency can cause the gums to bleed. It is the vitamin that is required for blood clotting. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause delay in blood clotting. A deficiency of vitamin C can also cause gum problems.
Other Important Causes
Ill-fitting dentures, smoking or use of tobacco, improper flossing, infections of the teeth or gums, and the use of certain medications like anticoagulants, calcium channel blockers, nasal sprays, oral contraceptives, and antidepressants can also cause bleeding from the gums. Apart from these, frequent bleeding could be a sign of bleeding disorders, scurvy, and leukemia. Chemotherapy drugs can also cause bleeding from the gums.
The symptoms that can be observed along with bleeding are:
- Sore and swollen gums
- Development of deep pockets between the teeth and gums
- Loose teeth and receding gums
- Bad breath
- Persistent bad taste in the mouth
- A change in the way the teeth usually fit together.
The treatment basically depends on the underlying causes. In general, one can prevent gum problems with regular brushing and flossing, and by avoiding tobacco products. It is also important to avoid eating food with sharp edges, if your gums bleed easily. You can also rinse your mouth with saline water and massage your gums to reduce the bleeding and swelling. Along with these, you can consider to use mouthwash recommended by your dentist to keep gum problems at bay.
The best way to prevent gum and teeth problems is maintain good oral hygiene, and follow a proper dental care regimen. You can talk to your dentist to know more about how to take care of your gums and teeth with the appropriate brushing and flossing techniques.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.