If there has been no tooth trauma, then bleeding gums is usually a symptom of gum disease. Gums bleed in response to the presence of bacteria on teeth as the body sends more blood containing immune cells to fight the bacteria. Bleeding gums are often accompanied by swollen red gums, tenderness, and bad breath (halitosis). Often there is no pain associated with the early stages of gum disease. Early gum disease is often reversible and easily treated by a dentist or dental hygienist by performing a dental clean (scale and polish).
Often people think they are causing their gums to bleed by flossing. However, it is quite the opposite, the gums are bleeding because they are not flossing frequently enough. We recommend you see your dentist and dental hygienist and follow our prevention guidelines to help prevent bleeding gums.
Seldom, bleeding gums are a symptom of other problems with your mouth or body. Bleeding gums are usually a good sign that you have gum disease, however other causes of bleeding gums can also result from:
Brushing too hard
A vitamin deficiency
Taking blood thinners or other medications
Dentures that don’t fit
Hormonal changes during pregnancy, resulting in pregnancy gingivitis
Other medical problems, including diabetes, heart disease, leukemia or scurvy
It is important that you don’t self diagnose as only a dentist or medical professional can diagnose the causes of bleeding gums and offer the right treatment.
To find a dentist or dental hygienist near you visit www.fillinggaps.co.nz.