Gums are comprised of delicate tissues that are sensitive to irritation and can easily become inflamed or damaged. Even a minor bump or excessive brushing can cause these tissues to bleed, indicating their vulnerability. That’s why you always see most athletes or people doing heavy physical activities wearing mouthguards, not just to protect their teeth but also their gums.

However, while occasional bleeding of the gums can be attributed to minor causes, persistent or excessive bleeding should not be ignored. This is one of many situations requiring a dental expert to prevent further gum damage.

Moments Where Bleeding Gums Need Immediate Attention

Profuse Bleeding

This pertains to a situation when your gums are bleeding excessively and uncontrollably. This could indicate severe gum disease, a blood clotting disorder, or from an injury or trauma. In such cases, it’s essential to seek immediate medical attention, as profuse bleeding can lead to severe blood loss.

Unexplained and Persistent Bleeding

If your gums start bleeding for no apparent reason or if the bleeding persists over an extended period, then it’s essential to see a healthcare provider. Persistent bleeding could be an early sign of serious medical conditions, such as leukemia or vitamin K deficiency.

Bleeding Along With Pain

Bleeding gums are generally painless when it comes to gum disease. But if your gums are bleeding and you’re experiencing pain, it could be due to a possible abscess or tooth infection. These conditions should be treated as soon as possible to prevent further complications.

Bleeding With Swelling and Redness

If your bleeding gums are also swollen, red, and inflamed, this could mean severe gingivitis or periodontitis. These serious gum diseases lead to tooth loss if not treated immediately. The inflammation and infection may also enter your bloodstream, leading to other health problems.

Bleeding Coupled With Loose Teeth

If your gums are bleeding and you also have loose teeth, this could suggest advanced periodontal disease. In this stage of gum disease, the bone tissue surrounding the tooth gets destroyed, giving a loose feel to the tooth. Immediate attention is needed to stop the disease progression and save the teeth.

Bleeding After Dental Procedures

If you recently had a tooth extraction or gum surgery, and the gums are still bleeding after 24 hours, or if there’s heavy bleeding, you need immediate medical attention. This could indicate a problem with the healing process.

Bleeding in Pregnant Women

Pregnancy gingivitis usually occurs due to hormonal changes that make your gums more susceptible to bacterial plaque. If a pregnant woman experiences continuous gum bleeding, it should be handled seriously since it can cause periodontitis, a more severe type of gum disease, which can be associated with preterm birth and low birth weight.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

  • Gingivitis. This is the initial stage of gum disease, which happens because of plaque buildup around the gum line, causing inflammation. If not treated by a dental expert, it turns into periodontitis.
  • Periodontitis. This is an advanced form of gum disease wherein the gums move away from the teeth, forming pockets that can become infected.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene. Failure to brush or floss regularly can lead to gum diseases, causing them to bleed.
  • Vitamin Deficiency. Lack of sufficient vitamin C or K can also affect the health of your gums.
  • Leukemia. This type of cancer affects blood cells and can cause symptoms such as bleeding gums.
  • Hormonal Changes. Changes in hormones during pregnancy, menopause, puberty and the menstrual cycle can make gums more sensitive, causing bleeding.
  • Medications. Certain drugs like blood thinners can increase the likelihood of bleeding gums.
  • Use of Tobacco. Smoking or using other kinds of tobacco products can ruin your gums, leading to gum disease and subsequent bleeding.
  • Over-Brushing or Hard-Bristled Toothbrushes. Brushing too vigorously or using a tough-bristled toothbrush can cause gum irritation and bleeding.
  • Diabetes. People living with diabetes are more likely to get gum disease, which can lead to bleeding gums.

Every case can be different, so it’s important to visit a dentist or healthcare professional if you notice frequent gum bleeding.

How to Stop Bleeding Gums Yourself

  • Clean Your Mouth. Wash or gargle your mouth with warm salt water, as this cleans out bacteria and soothes your gums. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt into one cup of warm water, swish it around your mouth for at least 30 seconds, then spit.
  • Cold Compress. Place a cold pack or a clean cloth filled with ice on the bleeding area. Doing so constricts the blood vessels and stops the bleeding.
  • Press Your Gums. You can apply a little bit of pressure on the bleeding area. Soak a sanitized cloth in cold water, wring out the excess water, then press gently but firmly against the gum area for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Avoid Irritation. Eating hot or spicy foods and beverages, alcohol, and tobacco right after treating the bleeding gums causes severe irritation.
  • Over-The-Counter Solutions. There are products you can buy at the pharmacy, like antiseptic mouthwashes, that can help stop bleeding gums. However, they should only be used as a temporary solution.
  • Visit a Healthcare Provider at Once. Once you have the bleeding under control, you should visit a gum specialist or your primary care physician to treat your bleeding gums. It’s also best to have someone accompany you if you need transportation back home.

Tips to Prevent Bleeding Gums

  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene. Regular cleaning can eliminate the bacteria and plaque that cause gum disease and bleeding. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash regularly. Also, replace your toothbrush after three to four months if you notice the bristles are frayed.
  • Limit Intake of Sugary Foods and Drinks. Sugar fuels the bacteria in your mouth, forming a sticky, colorless film on your teeth that produces acid. This acid dissolves tooth enamel and triggers gum disease. Limiting the intake of sugary food and drinks prevents the growth of these bacteria.
  • Quit Smoking. The harmful chemicals in tobacco can cause gum disease by interfering with the normal function of gum tissue cells. This can make your mouth more vulnerable to infections, including gum disease. Quitting smoking will help your gums to heal and become healthy again.
  • Drink Plenty of Water. Drinking water after meals can wash out undesirable effects of sticky and acidic food and beverages in between brushes.
  • Avoid Stress. Prolonged stress weakens your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infection and promote healing. Conduct stress-reducing activities like exercising, meditating, or spending time with loved ones.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet. Eating a nutrient-rich diet can boost your immune system and promote gum health. Foods rich in vitamins C and K are particularly beneficial for gum health.
  • Visit the Dentist Routinely. Regular dental check-ups and cleaning can prevent potential problems and identify and treat them early.
  • Avoid Alcoholic Drinks. Alcohol can irritate gum tissues and can cause them to become inflamed and bleed.
  • Gentle Brushing and Flossing. Brush gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush to reduce gum irritation and bleeding. Additionally, even though it might be painful, continue to floss. Regular and persistent flossing is needed to clean out plaque stuck between your teeth, which might be causing your gums to bleed.

A Call to Action on Bleeding Gums: Visit Crossroads Dental Arts

If your gums bleed frequently or notice symptoms such as persistent pain, swelling, or signs of infection, it’s crucial to seek professional dental care immediately. Even if you managed to stop the bleeding, it’s still best to visit a healthcare provider to inspect whether there’s serious damage to your gums.

Contact Crossroads Dental Arts immediately if you require a dental office to treat your bleeding gums effectively.