Bleeding Gums is one of the common conditions that affect the oral cavity. Bleeding gums was initially noticed by the Chinese as early as 2500 BC; they called bleeding gums and their associated diseases by the term “Ya-Kon” meaning that these are diseases of soft tissue surrounding the teeth. This problem still remains in spite of the fact that we have modern facilities available for oral hygiene.
Bleeding gums indicate that the disease of the gums is progressing slowly; but it might involve deterioration of the bone supporting the teeth that will result in loss of tooth finally.
Bleeding Gums – Causes
The main reason for bleeding gums is lack of proper oral hygiene. Improper brushing or rinsing of your mouth after your meals causes the food and bacteria to form a thin layer on the surface of your tooth. The bacterium infects the gums thereby making the gums to become soft, spongy and swollen. These are inflamed gums and if left untreated for longer period it results in bleeding of gums
The bleeding of gums can also occur because of the following.
1.Brushing too hard
2.Hormonal changes during pregnancy
3.Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
6.Infection, which can be either tooth- or gum-related
9.Use of blood thinners
10.Vitamin K deficiency
11.Eating of any coarse food items
Bleeding Gums – Symptoms
Bleeding of the gums might occur with or without associated pain. If there is pain it normally is dull in nature. You will notice bleeding when you brush your teeth or in the saliva when you spit
Bleeding Gums – Diagnosis
The following methods are used for diagnosing bleeding gums and problems around them.
1.The bleeding gums diagnosis is done by your dentist using an instrument called “probe”. The probe is a long, thin, sharp piece of metal and the dentist places it between the gum and the tooth thereby causing bleeding.
2.Blood test – this is carried out to check whether any clotting problems exist.
3.X-rays of the teeth and jawbone
Bleeding Gums – Prevention
Bleeding gums is the starting point for destroying the supporting tissues around you tooth or other hidden systemic problems that could be fatal. It is advisable to prevent the occurrence of bleeding gums than curing it after the damage is done. If you do not get bleeding gums treated on time it might cause life threatening diseases.
In order to prevent the occurrence of bleeding gums you must maintain a proper oral hygiene that prevents the occurrence of gum bleeding and also the related blisters, red swollen gums etc.
The following precautions will prevent the occurrence of bleeding gums.
1.Brushing your teeth twice a day and also after meals
2.Avoiding alcohol consumption
3.Avoiding aspirin that affects the blood clotting rate
4.Maintain healthy gums by proper brushing and flossing; otherwise your gum tissue will get irritated or traumatized
Bleeding Gums – Treatment and Medications
If bleeding gum occurs because of inflammation of the gums the best method of treating it is to eliminate the source of bacteria; this will drastically reduce the bleeding. Under these circumstances it is highly essential that you maintain a good oral hygiene.
If the bleeding gums are due to vitamin deficiency you must have a proper diet or vitamin supplements thereby neutralizing this deficiency.
Certain liquid solutions that can be applied by the patient himself over the gums are available as OTC and these will help in stopping or reducing the bleeding. You must realize that this solution is neither permanent nor long lasting
Bleeding Gums – Home care
You must take care of your teeth/ gums by the following:
1.Visit your dentist once in 6 months for removing the plaque.
2.Brush your teeth gently after every meal using a soft-bristle toothbrush.
3.Rinse your mouth with either salt water or hydrogen peroxide solution in water as per doctor’s advice. Do not use commercial mouthwashes containing alcohol because they will aggravate the problem.
4.Floss teeth two times in a day to prevent building up of plaque.
5.If you find that your dentures do not fit correctly or they cause sore spots in your gums see your dentist immediately.
6.Eat a healthy diet.
7.Reduce consumption of carbohydrates.
8.Avoid taking snacks in between meals.
9.Take vitamin supplements if you are having vitamin deficiency.
10.Do not use tobacco products since they aggravate bleeding gums condition.
11.Apply pressure directly on the gums using gauze pad soaked in ice water to control bleeding of gums.
12.Do not take aspirin unless it is prescribed by the doctor for medical reasons.
13.If you find any side effects due to current medication ask your doctor for alternate medicines.
14.If side effects of medication are irritating, ask your doctor to recommend another medication. Never change your medication without consulting your doctor.
15.Use an oral irrigation device at its low setting to massage the gums.
Bleeding Gums during pregnancy
Many pregnant women find that whenever their gums are swollen, red and tender and when they floss or brush the gums bleed and this is a sign of pregnancy gingivitis and this is common complaint from pregnant women. It is estimated that 50% of pregnant women are affected by it. This problem occurs due to higher progesterone levels that exist during pregnancy. Higher progesterone levels cause inflammation that makes your gums sensitive to the bacteria and also because of increased blood supply to your mouth.
It is also possible that you develop a benign nodule on your gums that bleeds while brushing. This kind of nodule called a pregnancy tumor occurs rarely and this is neither harmful nor painful. Pregnancy tumors can occur anywhere in your body but they occur more frequently in your mouth.