Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

The gums are made of thick and fibrous tissue and are designed to play an important role in our oral health. Unfortunately, the gum tissue is highly sensitive and from time to time can become irritated. You may notice that sometimes your gums become irritated and bleed lightly when you brush. What causes bleeding gums and how do you treat the gums when they bleed? Here is more information on what may be causing your gums to bleed and how to stop the bleeding.


What Causes Bleeding Gums?

There are a number of causes of swollen, inflamed, and bleeding gums. Fortunately, once they are identified many of these causes are easily treatable. A few of the common causes, include:

Gingivitis: The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is the most common cause of irritated gums. Gingivitis is caused by plaque that is allowed to build up along the gumline and teeth. This plaque contains bacteria that attacks and damages the gum tissue, irritating them and causing them to swell and bleed. Many patients don’t know when they have gingivitis because the early symptoms can be so mild. If the condition is left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more serious stage of gum disease.


Pregnancy: Dramatic changes in hormones, such as during pregnancy can increase blood flow and swelling in the gums. These changes in hormones can also weaken the immune system and reduce the body’s ability to fight bacteria. If you are pregnant you may notice your gums are swelling. It may be worthwhile to visit to the dentist for an extra exam and professional cleaning during your early months of pregnancy.


Poor Diet: The diet, and intake of vitamins and minerals, can be to essential to keeping your gums and teeth healthy. A poor diet may contribute to swelling and bleeding of the gums. A well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, such as vitamins C and K, will help to keep your gums healthy.


Treating Inflamed Gums

If your gums are bleeding for more than 10 days, you should schedule an appointment to see your dentist. By conducting a comprehensive exam and having a discussion about your symptoms, your dentist can help to determine what may be causing your gums to bleed. Once your dentist identifies the cause of your bleeding gums, they can develop an appropriate treatment plan for you. Potential treatment options may include an oral antimicrobial rinse or a special toothpaste to reduce plaque buildup and help prevent gingivitis. Some more serious cases may require additional antibiotics to fight an infection. More extreme cases of gum disease may also need more invasive treatment such as professional deep cleaning. If you just recently noticed your gums are irritated and bleeding, you can try to a few tricks to start to treat them at home with extra brushing or antimicrobial mouthwash. Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater solution can help eliminate unwanted bacteria in the mouth. Additionally, drinking extra water can help increase the production of saliva and wash away bacteria in the mouth.

When Should I be Concerned with Bleeding Gums