What are Bleeding Gums?
Bleeding gums may indicate a gum disease, or other health problems. Bleeding gums can also occur if you brush your teeth too hard.
Bleeding gums can happen to anyone, regardless of age and gender. However, bleeding gums will be more susceptible to people who do not take care of their teeth properly.
Causes of Bleeding Gums
In general, bleeding gums are caused by an abnormality of the oral cavity such as the buildup of plaque in the gum line which can harden into tartar and cause inflammation–also known as gingivitis.
Apart from gingivitis, infection of the gums, jawbone, and supportive tissues that connect the teeth and gums can also cause bleeding gums. Infection of the gums is also known as periodontitis.
Bleeding gums can also be caused by various other factors, such as:
- Too much consumption of sugary foods that cause bacteria and lead to plaque buildup
- Use of a hard-bristled toothbrush
- The habit of brushing your teeth too hard
- Use of improperly attached dentures
- Inflammation of the gums during pregnancy (pregnancy gingivitis)
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Vitamin C and vitamin K deficiency
- Smoking habits
- Use of blood thinners
- Lack of platelets or platelet cells
- Leukaemia or blood cancer
- Haemophilia or blood clotting disorders
When to See a Doctor for Bleeding Gums
To diagnose bleeding gums, your doctor will usually perform a physical exam of your gums. Your doctor will also ask about your diet, medications being consumed, and your lifestyle to determine the cause of bleeding gums.
If necessary, other exams may also be carried out such as a complete blood count and X-ray exam. A complete blood count may be required if the cause of the bleeding gums is suspected to be a blood disorder, whereas X-rays are performed if you are suspected to have a problem with the teeth and/or jaw area.
Symptoms of Bleeding Gums
Symptoms of bleeding gums are when you have blood coming from the root of the tooth. YOu may experience little too great amounts of blood that may cover the entire surface of your gums or teeth.
Swollen, red gumps are also symptoms of bleeding gums. Another symptom is your may feel pain and tenderness in your gums when you touch them
If you experience any of the symptoms above or are already experiencing bleeding gums, you should immediately consult a doctor–particularly if the bleeding becomes worse.
You should seek medical attention right away if you experience other symptoms, such as:
- difficulty opening your mouth to bite, chew, or speak;
- have extreme pain in the gum area;
- have constant bad or unusual taste in your mouth along with high fever
- bad breath that will not go away
Treatment for Bleeding Gums
Treatment for bleeding gums is available in numerous ways depending on the cause. If the bleeding gums are caused by gingivitis or inflammation of the gums, you may opt for tooth-scaling and root canal treatment. Both can help remove tartar and bacteria from the surface of your teeth and beneath the gums.
Several conditions can make dental plaque difficult to clean. For example, chipped tooth or uneven teeth–if this is the case, your dentist may perform dental fillings and dental repairs.
If periodontitis or an infection of the gums causes the bleeding, you may opt for tooth scaling and root canal treatment with additional antibiotics if the infection occurs in the oral cavity.
If you have severe periodontitis, you may require surgical procedures such as soft tissue grafts and bone grafts.
Treatment Cost for Bleeding Gums
Treatment cost for bleeding gums may vary depending on the severity and examinations required. For more details regarding the estimated cost of treatment for bleeding gums, hospital recommendations, and making appointments with dentists at home and abroad, contact Smarter Health.
Prevention of Bleeding Gums
Below are some ways that you can do to prevent bleeding gums:
- Perform regular dental exams, at least once every 6 months
- Brush your teeth twice a day regularly, especially after eating
- Use soft-bristled toothbrushes
- Floss your teeth
- Avoid consuming foods that are too hot or too cold
- Eating foods with balanced nutrition and not consuming excessive carbohydrates
- Quit smoking
- Consult your dentist if you feel your dentures are uncomfortable
- Get the vitamins your body needs
- Manage stress to avoid increased hormone cortisol, which triggers inflammation of the gums
Home Remedies for Bleeding Gums
Below are some home remedies to treat bleeding gums:
Apply an ice compress
Apply a cool compress to the affected gum area. Let it still for a few minutes until the bleeding stops.
Cold water can help slow blood flow. Swollen gums will slowly improve. Gargling with cold water is also an alternative way to do this.
Salt water rinse
Salt has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, which can help relieve swelling of the gums and reduce the infection from getting worse.
First, you dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Then, rinse your mouth until the saltwater reaches all corners of the oral cavity. Repeat this routine about three to four times a day until your gums are no longer bleeding.
Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide
If you have tried the salt water rinse method, but the bleeding does not stop–hydrogen peroxide can be an alternative for you. Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic solution which functions to make the bacteria that kill off infections. In addition, this antiseptic solution can also erode plaque to stop bleeding gums.
You can purchase hydrogen peroxide at pharmacies. Be sure to follow the instructions before use. If you do not understand how to use it, ask your pharmacist or doctor first.
You may also feel some extreme pain when you deal with bleeding gums. This can be treated with pain relievers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Both can be purchased freely at pharmacies.
Follow the directions for use and the recommended dosage. Avoid taking aspirin if it is not recommended by your doctor.