4 Causes Of Bleeding Gums

Healthy_TeethBleeding gums may be common, but that doesn’t mean they are a sign of healthy teeth. Quite the opposite – whether accompanied by pain or not, bleeding gums are almost always a “red flag” that indicates that it’s time to consult your dentist to discover the cause.

While bleeding gums can be a symptom of medical conditions ranging from vitamin deficiencies to pernicious anemia, dental issues are the most common cause. Here are four causes of bleeding gums, all of which should be corrected as soon as possible to ensure healthy teeth.

  1. Not brushing your teeth. Brushing your teeth removes the bacteria that leads to gum disease and bleeding gums. Brush twice a day, make sure you brush along the gumline, and try to brush for at least two minutes per session.
  2. Not flossing between your teeth. Floss cleans the parts of your teeth that toothbrushes cannot reach. Floss at least once a day. Some people complain that flossing makes their gums bleed, but it is more likely that their gums are bleeding because they have gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease.
  3. Diabetes. Diabetes is a systemic disease that can take a heavy toll on the teeth and gums. Uncontrolled diabetes can weaken the body’s immune system and allow bacteria to make gains in the mouth, which can lead to bleeding gums from gum disease. High blood sugar levels present when diabetes is untreated can also worsen existing gum disease.
  4. Dental injuries. When your mouth is injured – whether through a household accident, a sports activity, or even something as simple as jabbing your gums too hard with a toothpick – your gums can bleed a lot, because the mouth is rich with blood vessels. Soft-tissue and bone injuries in the mouth can be hard to see, and bleeding from the gums may be the only indication of how serious the injury is.

“The road to healthy teeth is lined with ‘caution signs’ – and bleeding gums are a sign that something is wrong,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist in practice in central Phoenix. “If you experience this symptom, consult with your dentist or other medical professional as soon as you can.”

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