Within the world of dental care, the gums are one of the most important considerations. Even significant tooth-related treatments like dental implants have a major impact on the gums, and this entire system works in harmony when things are going properly.
At the offices of Scott W Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, our preventive care services include a variety of methods to help promote gum health. For some patients, bleeding gums is a regular occurrence they’re looking to get a handle on – what are some of the reasons why your gums might be bleeding, and are they reversible? Let’s take a look.
One of the most common reasons for bleeding gums is gingivitis, the medical term for a buildup of plaque in the mouth around the gum line. The body has a reflexive inflammatory response to this, triggered by the immune system. If plaque isn’t removed and continues to build up, it will harden and become tartar, which can lead to even further bleeding issues.
Another possible condition that could be causing bleeding gums is periodontitis, which is more serious than gingivitis. It’s a jawbone disease where bacteria on the gum line actually begins to destroy pats of the jaw itself, which in turn can lead to major tooth decay or tooth loss for some people. Periodontitis is a serious condition that needs the attention of a dentist.
New Dental Routine
In other cases, the cause of your bleeding gums might be a simple change to the normal processes they’re used to. The teeth and gums are very sensitive to changes in routine, so even something as simple as a new toothbrush or a new floss type could trigger temporary bleeding.
In most cases, if this bleeding subsides in a few days, there’s nothing to worry about. If it continues beyond this, however, consider whether the changes you made might not have been totally healthy.
Down similar lines, new medications may cause bleeding in the gums in some cases. Blood thinners, immuno-suppressants and anticonvulsants may all lead to inflammation in the gums, which makes it easier for them to bleed. Blood pressure medications may have a similar effect. Even certain other medications like sedatives or antihistamines may decrease the saliva in your mouth, which makes bleeding more likely. Inform your dentist of any medications you’ve recently started if bleeding is an issue.
If you lack proper quantities of vitamin C or K in your diet, this could contribute to bleeding gums. Ask your doctor to test your levels for these vitamins and prescribe solutions.
In some rare cases, bleeding gums might actually be a sign of a larger health condition like leukemia or ITP (a blood clotting condition). If you fear this is the case, be thorough in documenting your symptoms before seeing a doctor.
Pregnancy involves a major change to many hormones for mothers, and one common result here is gums becoming more sensitive to bleeding. This should usually go away within a couple months after giving birth – speak to your doctor if it doesn’t.
For more on the causes of bleeding gums, or to learn about any of our other dental services, contact the pros at Scott W Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today.