Bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis or periodontal disease. It can also be a sign of a more severe oral health condition.
- Serious gum disease
Chronic periodontitis is one of the most common causes of bleeding gums. This condition can gradually destroy gum tissue, bone, and ligaments that hold teeth in place. In its early stages, you may not feel anything is wrong. However, untreated gum disease can cause tooth loss and permanent bone loss.
Other conditions that can cause bleeding gums to include pregnancy, hormonal changes, medications, systemic diseases, vitamin deficiencies, and eating disorders. Anemia, hemophilia, leukemia, or thrombocytopenia can lead to abnormal blood clotting in the mouth. This can increase the risk of bleeding gums. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.
- Brushing too hard
When it comes to brushing your teeth, it’s important to consider more than just how long you’re brushing for and how hard you’re actually brushing. In order to maintain healthy gums and avoid irritation around your gums, pay close attention to your technique and be careful when brushing near the gumline. (Of course, if you’re noticing bleeding gums after brushing, it’s a good idea to call your dentist for a checkup!)
Many people think that if they brush their teeth harder, they’ll do a better job of cleaning them. However, this is actually the opposite of what you should do. Using too much force or pressure can damage the gum tissue and even wear down the enamel on your teeth over time. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean the surfaces of your teeth and reach every hard-to-reach area without causing damage.
If you experience bleeding gums after brushing, this is usually a sign that you haven’t been brushing correctly. Over time, if this problem isn’t addressed, it can lead to serious complications like gingivitis, receding gums, or even tooth loss. Try using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently massaging your teeth along the gum line instead of scrubbing back and forth. While it may seem strange at first, it’s the best way to keep your mouth clean and healthy — and it can save you from painful problems down the road.
- Hormonal changes
The body goes through a lot of hormonal changes during pregnancy. In addition to experiencing morning sickness, mood swings, and other symptoms, pregnant women can also experience bleeding gums.
When women become pregnant, hormone levels rise significantly due to an increase in progesterone in the body. In some cases, this increase can be so significant that the swelling in the gums causes them to bleed. Additionally, some women may experience pregnancy gingivitis. This is a type of gum disease that is caused by the same hormones that cause swollen gums. To combat these symptoms, visit your dentist for routine cleanings and exams throughout your pregnancy, and always take good care of your teeth at home with brushing, flossing, and regular checkups.
There are many medications that can increase the risk of bleeding gums. Here’s the list:
- Blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin or heparin.
- Anticoagulant drugs, such as apixaban, rivaroxaban, dabigatran, and aspirin.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
- Hormone replacement therapy.
- Birth control pills, including estrogen.
- Laxatives and stool softeners, which decrease the amount of saliva in the mouth.
- Certain antidepressants, such as sertraline and fluoxetine.
If you’re taking any of these medications and you’re experiencing gum problems, be sure to let your dentist know right away. They may need to adjust your prescription. You may also need to avoid certain over-the-counter NSAIDs to prevent additional irritation of your gums. Your dentist may also recommend other effective alternatives, such as fluoride rinses or antiseptic mouthwashes, to keep your teeth healthy.
If you have further questions about your gums, call Rosemont Dental in Frederick, MD, at (301) 663-114 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Askari.