You brush your teeth and spit into the sink — you’re surprised to see some bright red color mixed in with your white toothpaste. Or, maybe you taste something coppery in your mouth outside of brushing, and you realize that your gums are bleeding.
Under any circumstance, the sight of blood should make you sit up and notice, which is definitely true of bleeding gums.
In this month's blog post, the team of experienced dental and periodontal care experts here at Peninsula Dental Excellence wants to shed some light on what might be behind bleeding gums. Let’s get to it!
Bleeding related to gum disease
Unless you’ve had some obvious trauma to your mouth, bleeding gums are most often due to gum disease, which affects nearly half of people in the United States aged 30 and older.
In the earliest stages of gum disease, plaque surrounds your gum line, causing inflammation in these tissues. This inflammation is called gingivitis, leaving your gums more tender and prone to bleeding, especially when brushing and flossing.
In this regard, the bleeding gums aren’t serious, but they serve as a reminder to redouble your efforts to keep plaque from building up around your gums. So, maybe brush more often than you normally do, but slightly more gently so that you don’t damage the gum tissue more. But do keep brushing and flossing until the bleeding stops.
If the bleeding doesn’t stop, we urge you to come see us for a cleaning, even if you’re not due for one. With our specialized tools, we get into places where your brushing and flossing can’t to remove plaque and tartar, which should remedy your bleeding.
Gum bleeding outside of gum disease
While gum disease is the primary driver of gum bleeding, this symptom can crop for other reasons, too.
For example, if your gums are bleeding in a localized area and you’re in a fair amount of pain, the bleeding might be caused by an abscess in your gums.
Other, less common, sources of the bleeding in your mouth include:
- Mouth sores due to diabetes
- Hormone fluctuations
- Vitamin deficiencies (C and K)
- Oral herpes
- Certain medications, namely blood thinners
Again, these causes of bleeding in your gums are far less common than gum disease, but we want to paint a complete picture of the problem.
Getting to the bottom of your bleeding
If the bleeding in your mouth persists and you’re in any pain whatsoever, it's time to come see us. Whether we find the bleeding is related to gum disease or some other problem, we can get you on the correct road to healthy gums again.
To get started, please contact our Mountain View, California, office to schedule a consultation.