Bleeding gums/gingival bleeding is among the commonest conditions that plague the mouth. As early as 2500 BC, the Chinese noticed bleeding gums and called the associated conditions “Ya-Kon” meaning diseases of the soft tissue around the teeth. Bleeding gums is indicative of a slowly advancing disease of the gum, which can go on to affect the bone supporting the teeth and may cause tooth loss.
What Is Gingival Bleeding?
As the name suggest, it is bleeding from the gums either spontaneously or due to any mild trauma. It can be a pointer to other underlying health problems. Bleeding from the gum is not a normal occurrence and should not be pushed aside.
The Causes of Bleeding Gums:
- A major cause of gingival bleeding is the accumulation of food debris (which aggregate into dental plaque) on the teeth. This is due to poor oral hygiene practices like irregular and improper tooth brushing.
- Vitamin K deficiency (affects the ability of the blood to clot).
- Vitamin C deficiency (makes the tiny blood vessels of the gum more friable, so they bleed easily).
- Use of anticoagulants or blood thinners e.g., aspirin.
- Smoking/Tobacco usage (downregulates the ability of the immune cells thereby impairing proper immune response to plaque bacteria).
- Trauma from toothbrushing.
- Hormonal changes (for example during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause; also, with the use of oral contraceptives)
- Any bleeding or clotting disorder.
- Uncontrolled diabetes (impairs the immune response to microbes that induce gum swelling and subsequent bleeding).
- Bad restorations, teeth that have drifted or tilted (make it easier for plaque to form and harder to clean the teeth properly)
- Dentures that do not fit, oral prostheses/appliances.
Some Associated Signs and Symptoms:
- The gum becomes soft, swollen, itchy and spongy.
- Bleeding is noticed mainly while brushing the teeth, in saliva or while spitting.
- Eating of any coarse food items will induce bleeding of gums.
- Bleeding of gums may occur with or without pain.
- Dull pain can be present.
- There is bad/smelly breath.
What to do if you have bleeding gums:
If your gum bleeds frequently, it is best to visit the dentist for a scaling and polishing treatment. Cleaning of the teeth can be done to remove the dental plaque and debris on them. You can also be advised on accurate oral hygiene practices such as proper toothbrushing techniques, adjunctive use of mouth rinse. These reduce the bacterial load in the oral cavity, and there would be a resultant decrease in gum swelling and bleeding. Our Dentists at Ikeja can also query any underlying cause of the gum swelling and provide adequate treatment; if required, a referral for the management of the underlying condition that might be the cause of the gum bleeding will be made.
At Luxe Dental, we offer treatment options to bring your teeth and gums back to health. We believe you deserve a great smile. Our friendly team enjoys interacting with patients, and sees every case as an opportunity to solve the individual challenges faced by those who are unhappy with their smiles.