You’ve heard of bleeding gums before, but what do you really know about them? Do you know what to do when you notice your gums bleeding? While the condition is common, it is not normal. It’s important to know the signs and seek treatment when necessary.
What are bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums are precisely what the term sounds like: your gums are bleeding. But bleeding gums may not look the same as bleeding from a cut. You may see bright red blood coming from the gums, or you may notice that your toothpaste foam has a pink hue to it. When you spit after brushing or using mouthwash, you may also notice a pink color or even streaks of blood.
Other signs of bleeding gums can include bad breath, mouth sores, or a lump on your gums.
When should you be concerned?
There are many reasons your gums might bleed. It could be as simple as brushing too hard or eating some crusty bread that scrapes your gums. Or it could be a more serious cause, such as gum disease.
If your gums bleed on rare occasions, it’s more likely to be a simple reason, such as brushing too hard. If that’s the case, you don’t need to be as concerned. You can lighten up with your brushing technique or avoid the particular food or activity that caused the bleeding.
If you notice ongoing bleeding, however, this could be a sign of a more serious issue. Bleeding that lasts more than a few days without being attributed to hard brushing or bleeding that worsens should also cause concern. These instances would warrant a call to Design Dentistry Columbia.
What can cause bleeding gums?
Many factors could cause your gums to bleed. Some minor causes include:
- Brushing or flossing too hard
- Scraping or cutting your gums on food, eating utensils, etc.
- Wearing dentures that don’t fit properly
Other, more severe causes of gum bleeding include:
- Gum Disease
- Periodontitis (advanced gum disease)
- Vitamin deficiency
- Lack of clotting cells
- Medication side effects
If you have any concerns about your gums, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbia, South Carolina dental office.
Why should you seek treatment?
While bleeding caused by brushing too hard or scraping your gums with food or a utensil will usually resolve itself, other causes generally don’t self-resolve. Whether it’s ill-fitting dentures or gingivitis, determining the root cause is essential.
Once the root cause has been determined, treatment is necessary to ensure the health of your mouth and your entire body. If gingivitis is the cause, it can worsen into periodontal disease, which can cause tooth and jawbone loss, both of which can impact your ability to eat. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies that can make bleeding worse and cause other health problems.
If you have other medical conditions, such as leukemia, lack of clotting cells, or a medication side effect, seeing your dentist first to rule out dental concerns will make it easier for your primary care doctor to narrow down the issue.
Bleeding gums may not seem like a big deal. While it usually doesn’t seem to be a lot of blood, and you may only notice the problem when you’re brushing your teeth, the reality is that bleeding gums can be a sign of significant trouble. That’s why it’s essential to pay attention and seek treatment if you notice them.
Whether you have bleeding gums or just want to schedule your next cleaning, book your appointment at Design Dentistry Columbia today.