Do you notice your gums start to bleed after you brush or floss? If you answered yes, then you may have thought this was just a part of brushing and flossing. After all, a little blood is probably harmless. Unfortunately, bleeding gums could be an indication there is something more serious going on.
Regular bleeding of the gums, whether it happens after brushing or flossing, should not be ignored. Any bleeding of the gums could be a sign of medical or dental problems that need to be resolved before serious side effects occur.
Wondering what type of problems can cause bleeding gums? The following are some examples of popular dental and medical problems that can cause bleeding of the gums.
The Start of Gum Disease
Gum disease often starts off as gingivitis. Gingivitis causes your gums to become extremely red, inflamed, and swollen. When your gums are like this, it makes it really easy for them to bleed. All it takes is a little poke or prod with a toothbrush or dental floss, and you have bleeding gums.
Gingivitis is easy to treat when caught early enough, which is why it is important to seek the help of a local dentist or prosthodontist when you see bleeding gums. A dentist or prosthodontist may be able to show you improved oral hygiene techniques, both brushing and flossing to remove the bacteria causing the gingivitis. Also a thorough professional cleaning to remove hard calculus deposits to get the process of healing started.
Severe Gum Disease – Periodontitis
Untreated gingivitis will eventually turn into severe gum disease known as periodontitis. Periodontitis has some of the same symptoms as gingivitis. It has red, swollen gums, bleeding gums, and extreme sensitivity. The difference between periodontitis and gingivitis is the damage it can cause to your teeth and gums.
Periodontitis can cause extreme, irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. It can cause bone loss and gum recession that will result in extreme pain or tooth sensitivity. In extreme cases, periodontitis can cause so much damage that your natural teeth need to be removed and implants or dentures need to be used to replace the missing teeth.
Serious Medical Conditions
In most cases, bleeding gums are caused by gum disease, but in some situations it could be caused by an undetected medical condition. A number of medical conditions have bleeding gums listed as a symptom.
Some serious medical conditions that can cause bleeding gums include:
• Blood disorders
• Some types of genetic disorders, such as hemophilia
Bleeding gums may be caused by a medical problem if they are also accompanied by extreme fatigue, sudden and unexplained weight loss, and small ulcers that develop in or around the mouth.
While a dentist may not be able to diagnosis these medical problems, he or she will be able to eliminate the possibility of gum disease causing the bleeding gums. Once gum disease is eliminated, you can see a primary care physician to explore the possibility of other medical conditions causing the bleeding gums.
Bleeding gums should never, ever be ignored. If you are experiencing this problem, schedule an appointment with your local dentist or prosthodontist. The sooner you get help for bleeding gums, the healthier you will feel.