- One of the main causes of bleeding gums is plaque buildup around the gum line
- Regular bleeding around the gums when flossing or brushing your teeth likely points to gum disease
- In addition to proper care at home, it is imperative that you visit your dentist at least once every six months
Bleeding in the mouth and around the teeth can be caused by a number of things including gum disease and trauma, among other things. If you experience an injury to your mouth that results in bleeding, you may need to seek medical attention, especially if the bleeding is persistent. In cases of severe hemorrhaging a trip to the emergency room is recommended.
In the meantime, take some time to learn more about the causes and treatments for persistent bleeding:
Causes of Persistent Bleeding
One of the main causes of bleeding gums is plaque buildup around the gum line. This leads to gingivitis, which is a fancy word for inflammation of the gums. When the plaque is not properly removed, it hardens into tartar. This tartar can lead to or contribute to the development of gum and jawbone disease, which is also known as periodontitis. Once periodontitis is present there is often an increase in persistent bleeding around the teeth at the gum line.
Regular bleeding around the gums when flossing or brushing your teeth likely points to gum disease and should be treated as soon as possible. Gum disease does not often cause pain until the later stages of the disease and therefore pain is not a reliable indicator of gum disease.
Other Causes of Bleeding Gums:
- Bleeding disorders
- Brushing too hard
- Ill-fitting dental fixtures, such as dentures
- Infrequent or improper flossing
- Gum or tooth infection
- Vitamin C deficiency or scurvy
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Use of blood thinners
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
Preventing Bleeding and Treatment
In most cases, gingivitis and gum disease and the resulting persistent bleeding can be avoided with proper care. Brush your teeth using a soft-bristle toothbrush at least twice a day and, if possible, after every meal. You should also floss your teeth once a day if not twice a day as this can prevent plaque buildup.
In addition to proper care at home, it is imperative that you visit your dentist at least once every six months for a regular cleaning. Your dentist can help identify problem areas in your mouth and advise you on the best course of treatment.
Dentists may recommend that you rinse with salt water or hydrogen peroxide and water. They may also prescribe other toothpastes and mouthwashes if you begin to develop gum disease or already suffer from it. One thing to keep in mind is that mouthwashes with alcohol can make the problem a lot worse and they should be avoided.
In an effort to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy, it’s also recommended that you eat a balanced diet and avoid snacking between meals. If you suffer from a vitamin deficiency, you may want to speak with your doctor about taking vitamins and supplements. Smoking can also lead to the development of gum disease and gum bleeding.
In some cases, certain medications may cause bleeding gums, if you suspect your medication is causing side effects that are affecting your mouth, speak to your general practitioner about switching to a different medication.
If you suffer from excessive bleeding, do not take aspirin unless your doctor says its okay. To help control gum bleeding, you can apply pressure directly to the gums with gauze and water. You may also find some relief with an oral irrigation device set to low. This can massage the gums and provide some comfort.