You must have witnessed at least one dental advertisement in your life which shows a person biting into an apple to witness blood coming out from their gums endorsed by several toothpaste brands. These brands say the solution to bleeding gums is adding salt, clove, mint, and whatnot. But rarely have we seen anyone commercially explaining the reasons for bleeding from gums.
Finally, the dentists had to take matters into their hands, and here is a simple explanation of what exactly are bleeding gums and what causes them. Let’s read on.
What are Bleeding Gums?
Bleeding gums is a condition in which blood flows out from between the gum-tooth margin due to various reasons. Bleeding gums is a sign of unhealthy gums.
However, there are times when gums bleed even when healthy. Read further to understand how.
Different Types of Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums can be acute or chronic based on their duration.
Acute bleeding occurs for a short duration. It occurs and stops after some time. In this type of bleeding, the gums do not have to be in a diseased condition previously. Acute bleeding can occur in healthy gums as well.
Chronic bleeding gums is a condition in which the patient experiences bleeding from the gums over a long period of time. It doesn’t usually stop easily like acute bleeding gums. In this case, the gums are most likely to be diseased.
Chronic bleeding gums are a common sign of gum disease.
Causes for Bleeding Gums
Causes for Acute Bleeding:
Trauma – Accidental trauma or injury caused can lead to acute bleeding. It can be due to :
- Aggressive brushing
- Insertion of sharp objects like pins, toothpicks, needles, etc.
- Improper flossing
- Foreign particles stuck in the gums.
Location for such gums is limited to a certain area in which the injury occurred and usually stops after some time. Bleeding is also accompanied by swelling and pain in the region.
Causes for Chronic Bleeding:
Chronic gingival bleeding occurs during inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis mostly occurs due to unhealthy gums. Gums that are not cleaned regularly and have plaque collected in them often bleed chronically. Even a slight touch of the toothbrush can lead to bleeding. Gum might appear swollen.
This is the advanced stage of gingival disease after gingivitis and has bleeding that occurs spontaneously or even with a slight touch. Teeth might be loose in this case.
3. Systemic conditions:
Systemic diseases such as pregnancy, diabetes, or cardiovascular diseases have gingivitis as a symptom and thus bleeding gums too.
4. Other habits:
Chronic bleeding gums can also be due to deleterious habits like smoking or tobacco chewing.
Chronic bleeding gums can be generalized or localized i.e. there can be bleeding from the entire gums or from some region depending upon the intensity of the causative agent. As already mentioned, gums bleed for a longer time and spontaneously.
Treatment for Bleeding Gums
Treatment for acute bleeding will depend on the cause.
- If a foreign object is lodged, it needs to be removed.
- Salt water mouth rinsing should be done to avoid infections.
- Ointments are available in the form of gum paints which can be used.
Acute bleeding gums are generally not a big concern and heal on their own in a day or two. However, in some cases, it might lead to infection or other problems. So, a visit to the dentist can also be beneficial for added precaution.
Treatment for chronic bleeding involves medical intervention. In this case, a visit to the dentist for diagnosis of the condition properly is advised.
- Scaling, a procedure to clean all the collected dirt in the swollen gums to bring them back to health should be done.
- If the periodontal condition is worse, root planning is also to be done. In this procedure, the cleaning is done up to the root of the teeth.
- Management of underlying health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease also needs to be looked after.
- Proper medications and ointments need to be prescribed.
- In cases of habits, the habit needs to be given up.
Bleeding gums aren’t as simple as they make them look in the advertisement. So the toothpaste alone won’t solve it. Visit your dentist and keep track of your oral health.