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Dr. Edwards' Blog

Reasons Why Your Gums Might Be Bleeding -June 8, 2017

If your gums bleed easily, it might be because of something simple like using the wrong technique when you brush or floss.  Or it could be the sign of a health condition you need to check out.  Here's a list of common and not-so-common reasons for bleeding gums.

Common Causes

  • You brush too hard or your toothbrush isn't soft enough
  • You've started a new flossing routine and your gums aren't used to it yet
  • Take certain medications, like blood thinners
  • Have inflamed gums because you're pregnant (pregnancy gingivitis)
  • Have dentures that don't fit well

Gingivitis
Bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis, or inflammation of your gums. It's a common and mild form of gum disease, and it's caused by a buildup of plaque at your gumline.

If you have gingivitis, your gums may be irritated, red, and swollen. They may bleed when you brush your teeth.

You can get rid of this problem by taking good care of your teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, rinse daily with an antibacterial mouthwash, and see your dentist regularly.

Periodontitis
If you don't take care of your gingivitis, it can lead to periodontal disease, or periodontitis, a long-term gum condition that damages the tissue and bone that support your teeth.

If you have periodontitis, your gums may become inflamed and infected and pull away from the roots of your teeth.

When your gums bleed easily, it could be a sign of periodontal disease. Your teeth may get loose or separate. You could also get bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite, and red, swollen, tender gums.

If you don't treat periodontal disease, you can lose some of your teeth.

Diabetes

Bleeding or swollen gums can be a warning sign of type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

When you have this disease, your mouth isn't as powerful at fighting germs, so you're more likely to get infections like gum disease. High blood sugar levels that go along with diabetes make it harder for your body to heal, which can make gum disease worse.

Leukemia

Bleeding gums can be a sign of leukemia, a type of cancer.

Your blood platelets help your body stop bleeding. If you have leukemia, your platelet count is low. That makes it harder for you to stop bleeding in different parts of your body, including your gums.

Thrombocytopenia

If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth and it doesn't stop on its own, it may be a sign of thrombocytopenia.

If you have this condition, your body may not have enough platelets to form a blood clot. That can lead to too much bleeding in different parts of your body, including your gums.

Hemophilia or Von Willebrand Disease

If you have bleeding gums or heavy bleeding when you get a small cut or have dental work, it may be a sign of a disorder like hemophilia or von Willebrand disease.

With these conditions, your blood doesn't clot properly, so you may have bleeding gums.

Too Little Vitamin C

This vitamin helps your tissue grow and repair. It heals wounds and strengthens your bones and teeth.

If your body doesn't have enough vitamin C, you may feel weak and irritable. Over time, you can also get swollen and bleeding gums.

Scurvy

It's rare, but a severe shortage of vitamin C in your body can lead to scurvy, a disease related to poor nutrition. It can make you weak, cause anemia, and lead to bleeding under your skin.

Bleeding gums are a typical sign of scurvy.

Lack of Vitamin K

If you notice a lot of bleeding from your gums, it may be because you don't get enough vitamin K.

This vitamin helps your blood clot properly. It's also good for your bones. If you don't get enough through your diet or your body doesn't absorb it well, it can cause bleeding problems.

Your first line of defense is to make sure you're brushing twice a day with a SOFT toothbrush and flossing once a day.  Have regular dental cleanings.  And if the bleeding still concerns you, consult with your dentist.

 

 

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