The health of your mouth plays a role in the health of your entire body, so any signs of gum disease need to be taken seriously. Bleeding gums are one of the symptoms of gum disease and can be a sign that your gums have become inflamed or infected. Sore and painful gums should not be ignored. If you have bleeding gums, set up an appointment for an oral evaluation with your doctor as soon as possible.
Here is a closer look at some common causes of bleeding gums:
If you do not practice proper oral hygiene, bacteria in your mouth can cause inflammation of the gums and make your gums bleed, become swollen, and turn red. Bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, but its effects can be reversed with early treatment and proper home care.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is characterized by loss of bone and potentially tooth loss. There is no cure for periodontal disease; however, it can controlled and managed through periodontal therapy, maintenance cleanings, and meticulous home care. Periodic screenings for gum disease are an important part of the dental exam in order to detect the presence of this disease in the mouth.
Some medications have blood-thinning properties and can therefore increase the incidence of bleeding gums. Aspirin, blood thinners, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), birth control pills, and even some blood pressure medications can cause bleeding of the gums. It is very important to inform the dental professional of all medical conditions and medications recently and currently taken, especially if bleeding of the gums has or is occurring.
Due to an increase in hormone levels during pregnancy, the gums may bleed more readily when flossing, brushing, eating, or in some cases, even spontaneously. In fact, pregnancy gingivitis often occurs during and right after pregnancy, when hormone levels are at their highest. Regular dental cleanings and home care are extremely important during pregnancy, especially given that women are more likely to deliver prematurely and have low birth weight babies if they have periodontal disease.
When you notice your gums are bleeding often, set up a consultation with your doctor. A dental professional can determine whether the bleeding gums are a symptom of gum disease and recommend a treatment plan designed to restore your oral health to a healthier state.