Bleeding gums could indicate a serious dental problem, so you should never ignore them. Unless you know that an injury caused your gums to bleed, the cause of the bleeding is probably acute inflammation in the gum tissues. This is a sign that something is wrong.
When gums bleed easily, acute inflammation is the cause, and we call this gingivitis. The cause of gingivitis is always the buildup of dental plaque. Bacteria living within plaque produce toxins, and when these toxins penetrate into the gums, the body responds with inflammation. Inflammation brings more blood supply to the area, which leads to redness, swelling, tenderness, and a tendency to bleed very easily. There are a few factors that can put someone at a higher risk for gingivitis, which makes bleeding gums very likely.
When people are unable or unwilling to effectively remove dental plaque from the teeth on a daily basis, they are prone to gingivitis. Allowing more bacteria to remain on the teeth and gums leads to more toxin production and more inflammation. We see this very commonly in people with mental or physical challenges that impair their ability to remove plaque.
Saliva is a natural plaque-fighter. People who suffer from dry mouth tend to develop more plaque that has a stickier consistency. It is often much more difficult for patients with dry mouth to remove the plaque from their teeth, which increases the risk for bleeding gums.
We also see an increase in gingivitis among patients who are undergoing large swings in hormone levels. This commonly occurs during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. The hormones do not make the gums bleed, but they do make the gums ultra-sensitive to any irritation. The cause of the bleeding gums is still dental plaque. It just takes much less plaque buildup to cause inflammation when someone has hormone surges.
The treatment for bleeding gums will always be a combination of professional dental visits and home care. During your professional visit, the dentist or dental hygienist will remove all bacterial buildup from the teeth, which eliminates the cause of the inflammation. The problem is that dental plaque accumulates on the teeth every single day. So while they will present you with a “clean slate”, you are responsible for maintaining it at home.
Great home care to allow your gums to heal and prevent further inflammation absolutely must include both brushing and flossing. Your dental hygienist can instruct you on proper techniques and give you tips on how to reach areas of your mouth that you might miss in your current home care. When you work together, you and your dentist can beat bleeding gums.
Stop the Bleeding Gums
Schedule an appointment at the Premier Dental office closest to you and let our experienced dental team work to solve your bleeding gums and provide ways to prevent them from occurring in the future.
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