How to avoid bleeding gums

Learn about the causes, warning signs and ways to avoid bleeding gums.

ENGLAND, November 5, 2012 - Gums are the spongy and pink structures that hold the teeth in the right position. They stick to the teeth very intimately to prevent the entry of infection to the root of the teeth and also the jaw bone.

Bleeding of the gums is mainly due to inflammation of the gums, injury or infection. These inflamed and infected gums are known as gingivitis.

What are the various causes of bleeding gums?

Viral, bacterial and fungal infections that arise in the teeth as well as gums produce various toxins and acids that erode, and this causes inflammation of the gums. The inflammation makes the gums red, spongy and swollen. This increases the amount of bleeding and weakens the firmness of the teeth. Bleeding gums are often due to injury or improper brushing. In females, there are higher chances of bleeding gums than in males, due to hormone changes.

Bleeding gums may be due to the following reasons:

  • Injury or disturbance

This might be because of tooth picking, insertion of foreign substances, improper flossing and brushing, dentures etc. the causes of teeth getting injured can also be due to irritation of chemicals, acids in drinks, foods, tooth whiteners, medicines, mouth fresheners etc.

  • Mouth sores

This is a type of problem which, if not treated, can cause other problems.

  • Nutritional Deficiencies

Various nutritional disorders can lead to bleeding of gums such as deficiency of vitamin C as well as K.   

  • Blood disorders

Deficiency of coagulation factors, haemophilia, leukaemia, bleeding and clotting disorders can also cause bleeding of gums.

  • Medications

Various medications can cause bleeding of gums. Blood thinners like aspirin, pain-killers, heparin therapy and treatment procedures such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy are also causes of bleeding of gums.

  • Pregnancy and hormonal changes

Various hormonal changes and pregnancy can also cause bleeding of gums.

  • Chemicals and hot food

These substances can burn your gums and cause gums to bleed.

Warning signs of bleeding gums

  • Bad breath
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bleeding with the slightest bit of pressure
  • Swollen, tender, red gums
  • Pus build up within the gums
  • Recession of gums from the teeth.
  • Difficulty as well as discomfort in food intake rarely due to sensitiveness and pain in the gums.
  • Loose teeth

How can one diagnose bleeding gums?

If you have continuous bleeding of gums then there are certain tests that will help you diagnose the problem.

  • Dental x-rays
  • Oral examination of gums as well as teeth
  • Blood analysis if the cause is not easily diagnosed

How to prevent bleeding gums

Make sure that plaque deposits are removed with the help of good oral hygiene. This includes the use of an electric toothbrush, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly for check ups. Taking vitamin supplements in case of deficiency can help. Eating healthy, nutrition rich food will also help. Make sure you brush away all the food particles after every meal. Oral health is also very important.

Taking care of bleeding gums

One of the most important things to ensure proper dental health is to go for dental check ups regularly. If you have bleeding gums, visit the dentist more often. If you suffer with any dental problem then you must not wait for it to get better by itself, instead visit the dentist immediately.


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Dr. Priya Patel

I’m Dr. Priya Patel with over 10 years of experience in the dental industry and dental principal of Village Dental Practice in Stevenage, UK.  I qualified from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Dental Hospital in 2002 from London. I involve patients in their own treatment and enjoy seeing the improvement in a patient as their treatment progresses.

I also teach dentists at the Royal College of Surgeons in London who are completing postgraduate studies as well as overseas dentists who are studying for their equivalency exams.

You can follow Dr. Patel on Twitter at @dentistmum

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