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Ouch My Bleeding Gums! 7 Things that Could be Causing it and How to Treat it

How often do you brush your teeth? Ideally, you want to do so at least twice a day — any less and you risk the chance of cavities.

Flossing is important too. If anything, it’s one of the best things that you can do to prevent gum disease. How else would you be able to get rid of particles that are stuck between your teeth?

According to the CDC, more than 64 million individuals in the U.S. have some form of periodontitis — that’s nearly half the population! 

Do you have inflamed gums? Want to know what might be causing it? If so, you’re on the right page! We’ll be going over everything that you need to know about it below.

Keep reading to learn more about the topic!

Why Healthy Gums are Important 

Believe it or not but your gums can affect your physical health. A type of soft tissue, it forms a tight seal around your teeth. Not only does it support the bones, but it also prevents bacteria from entering the body.

What happens if you don’t brush and floss? Food particles will stick to your teeth. Over time, this can lead to the formation of plaque. If not removed, it can release toxins that can inflame the gums — this is known as gingivitis.

Left untreated, the condition can progress into periodontal disease. An infection of the gums, it can destroy the bones and gums around your teeth. Not only that, but it can increase your risk of respiration infections and cardiovascular disease.

What are Bleeding Gums? 

Bleeding gums often indicate gum disease. With that said, it’s not always an issue. For instance, your gums may bleed if you brush your teeth too vigorously. Ill-fitting dentures can lead to bleeding as well.

Things are different, however, if you have prolonged bleeding. Consider visiting the dentist as it might be due to a health condition.

7 Things That Can Cause Inflamed Gums to Bleed

A number of conditions can cause your gums to bleed. Here are some of the most common ones:

1. Gingivitis 

Gingivitis refers to inflammation of the gums. Generally speaking, it occurs when plaque accumulates on the gum lines. Not only can it result in bleeding, but it can also lead to soreness in the mouth.

The best way to prevent gingivitis is to brush your teeth. Flossing is important as well — it allows you to remove food particles, which can otherwise turn into plaque.

2. Periodontitis 

Periodontitis is a long-term gum condition that can affect your bones and tissue. For instance, your gums may become inflamed to a point where they start to pull away from your teeth.

Bleeding gums is one of the most common symptoms. In addition to that, you might experience pain and bad breath. Left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.

3. Diabetes 

Diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) can lead to bleeding gums. Why? The condition makes it more difficult for the body to fight off bacterial infections. As a result, there’s a higher risk of gum disease.

Not only that, but high blood sugar levels can also make it harder for your tissues to heal. In other words, recovery would take longer.

4. Leukemia 

Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects blood cells. Those with the condition have abnormal blood cells, which do not function as they should. Not only that, but their blood platelet levels will be lower than normal.

Given that blood platelets prevent bleeding, it’s not surprising to know that it can lead to bleeding gums. Put it simply, it makes it harder for your body to stop bleeding.

5. Vitamin K Deficiency 

Vitamin K plays a major role in the blood clotting process. Your gums can become inflamed (and potentially bleed) if you don’t get enough of it through your diet. When in doubt, visit the doctor — they’ll be able to check your levels of Vitamin K.

Foods rich in vitamin K include spinach, lettuce, mustard greens, watercress, soybeans, and olive oil.

6. Scurvy 

Scurvy is relatively rare nowadays, but it can happen. A nutritional deficiency disease, it develops in those who do not consume enough vitamin C — a nutrient that plays a role in tissue growth and repair.

In addition to swollen and bleeding gums, you may feel weak and irritable. Other symptoms include dry skin, bulging eyes, and easy bruising.

7. Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a rare disease in which blood is unable to clot properly. As a result, it often leads to excessive bleeding. For instance, you might bleed into your joints (e.g. knees, ankles, elbows) or skin.

While it does not cause your gums to bleed directly, bleeding gums can be a sign of hemophilia.

Preventing Your Gums From Bleeding

There are several things that you can do to prevent your gums from bleeding. First and foremost, you want to visit your dentist for professional cleaning at least twice a year.

By removing plaque from your gum line, you’ll be less likely to develop gum disease.

The way you brush is important as well. Ideally, you want to brush in a circular motion with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Consider using an electric toothbrush if you’re having difficulty cleaning your gum line.

Taking Care of Your Gums 

As you can see, a number of things can cause inflamed gums, which can lead to bleeding. If anything, the best thing that you can do is to brush and floss regularly!

Looking for a gum specialist in the Forest Hills area? Feel free to contact us to set up an appointment! 

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

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