Bleeding Gums is one of the common conditions that affect the oral cavity. It is estimated that 53.2 million (50.3%) of US adults 30 years and older exhibit bleeding from the gums (gingival bleeding). It has been shown that bleeding from the gums appears earlier than a change in color or other visual signs of gum infection.
Gingival Bleeding Caused by Local Factors
The most common cause of abnormal gingival bleeding is chronic inflammation due to poor oral hygiene. The bacteria in plaque and calculus (tartar) deposits infect the gums causig it to become inflammed. in The bleeding is chronic or recurrent and is provoked by mechanical trauma (e.g., from toothbrushing, toothpicks, or food impaction) or by biting into solid foods such as apples.
Gingival Bleeding due to systemic factors
These include vascular abnormalities (vitamin C deficiency or allergy, e.g., Schonlein-Henoch purpura), platelet disorders (thrombocytopenic purpura), hypoprothrombinemia (vitamin K deficiency), other coagulation defects (hemophilia, leukemia, Christmas disease), deficient platelet thromboplastic factor (PF3) resulting from uremia, multiple myeloma and post rubella purpura.
The effects of hormonal replacement therapy, Diabetes, oral contraceptives, puberty, pregnancy, menstrual cycle and stress are also reported to cause gingival bleeding.
Bleeding gums is the initial sign of distructive Periodontal disease leading to tooth loss. It is advisable to prevent the occurrence of bleeding gums than curing it after the damage is done.
The following precautions will prevent the occurrence of bleeding gums.
- Brushing your teeth twice a day and also after meals
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Maintain healthy gums by proper brushing and flossing
If bleeding gum occurs because of inflammation of the gums the best method of treating it is to eliminate the source of bacteria; this will drastically reduce the bleeding. Under these circumstances it is highly essential that you maintain a good oral hygiene.
If the bleeding gums are due to vitamin deficiency you must have a proper diet or vitamin supplements thereby neutralizing this deficiency.
Certain liquid solutions that can be applied by the patient himself over the gums are available as OTC and these will help in stopping or reducing the bleeding. You must realize that this solution is neither permanent nor long lasting.
You must take care of your teeth/ gums by the following:
- Visit your dentist once in 6 months for removing the plaque.
- Brush your teeth gently after every meal using a soft-bristle toothbrush.
- Rinse your mouth with either salt water or hydrogen peroxide solution in water as per doctor’s advice. Do not use commercial mouthwashes containing alcohol because they will aggravate the problem.
- Floss teeth two times in a day to prevent building up of plaque.
- If you find that your dentures do not fit correctly or they cause sore spots in your gums see your dentist immediately.
- Eat a healthy diet.Reduce consumption of carbohydrates.Avoid taking snacks in between meals.
- Take vitamin supplements if you are having vitamin deficiency.
- Do not use tobacco products since they aggravate bleeding gums condition.
- Apply pressure directly on the gums using gauze pad soaked in ice water to control bleeding of gums
- Do not take aspirin unless it is prescribed by the doctor for medical reasons.
- If you find any side effects due to current medication ask your doctor for alternate medicines.
- If side effects of medication are irritating, ask your doctor to recommend another medication. Never change your medication without consulting your doctor.
- Use an oral irrigation device at its low setting to massage the gums.
Many pregnant women find that whenever their gums are swollen, red and tender and when they floss or brush the gums bleed and this is a sign of pregnancy gingivitis and this is common complaint from pregnant women. It is estimated that 50% of pregnant women are affected by it. This problem occurs due to higher estrogen levels that exist during pregnancy. Higher estrogen levels cause certain strains of bacteria to thrive, thus causing gum inflammation.
It is also possible that pregnant women develop solitary swellings known as pregnancy tumor. This is neither harmful nor painful. Pregnancy tumors can occur anywhere in your body but they occur more frequently in your mouth.