What Causes Bleeding Gums?

Woman covers her mouth due to gum disease

While bleeding gums are not necessarily a reason for grave concern, they are almost always indicative of a problem with your gums, your health, or the way that you clean your teeth. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of bleeding gums. 

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, characterized by damage to the lining of the gums around your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth create plaque which then attacks the sensitive top layer of the gum, exposing the tiny capillaries beneath. When you brush or chew, these capillaries can rupture, leaving a taste of blood in your mouth.

The good news is that you can treat gingivitis through a combination of help from your dentist, lifestyle changes, and improving your oral hygiene routine. Cutting down on sugar, going for regular dental cleanings, and brushing and flossing every day can all contribute to reducing bleeding gums. 

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease than gingivitis. While gingivitis affects the surface of the gum and the collar around the teeth, periodontitis is an infection below the gumline. Periodontitis is dangerous because once it becomes endemic, you cannot eliminate it with brushing alone. 

What’s more, when bacteria accumulate around the root of the tooth, they create harmful byproducts that damage the surrounding enamel and bone, destroying tissue in the process. 

Periodontitis can have some nasty side effects. Infection in your gum can be excruciating and lead to visible swelling. You can also experience a foul taste in your mouth and have bad breath. 

The good news, again, however, is that modern dentistry can help. The first step is to eliminate the infection. Usually, dentists do this through a course of antibiotics. The next step is to deal with the root of the problem, most commonly poor oral hygiene, but sometimes impacted teeth. The final step is to prevent periodontitis from returning, either by removing teeth or improving brushing. 

Diabetes

Patients who have diabetes aren’t as able to fight off infections as those who do not have the disease. The same holds true in the mouth. The body’s immune defenses aren’t as good at keeping the mouth hygienic. What’s more, high blood sugar levels – a characteristic of the disease – interferes with the healing process, making it more challenging to reverse gum conditions. 

Thrombocytopenia

Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which your body doesn’t produce enough platelets to clot the blood and prevent bleeding. Patients with the condition, therefore, can experience excessive bleeding after brushing, even if they do not have severe gum disease. 

A Lack Of Vitamin C And Scurvy

Genuine scurvy is rare in developed countries, although it can occur if you infrequently or never eat fruit and vegetables. One of the symptoms of scurvy is chronically bleeding gums. The body can no longer make the structures that it needs to contain blood in blood vessels, causing it to leach out. 

Low levels of vitamin C can also lead to swollen gums that make them more prone to bleeding. 

Schedule An Appointment With Arizona Periodontal Group Today!

If your gums are bleeding, then schedule your appointment with us today. We’ll take a look and determine if special treatment is required.

Satisfied senior woman at periodontal office looking at camera.

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