Bleeding Gums: A Sign That Something’s Amiss

February 4, 2017 by Dr David Bloom

Gum Disease

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Your gums are red around the margins and bleed whenever you brush or floss but there’s minimal to no pain…

Can you identify with the following?

  1. brushing or flossing too vigorously
  2. have an accumulation of dental plaque where the teeth meet the gums
  3. are using a toothbrush that’s too firm
  4. are experiencing early signs of gum disease

Kudos if you picked b) and d).

The most common cause of bleeding gums is the accumulation of dental plaque (bacterial deposits) at the gum line, which is an early sign of periodontal (from the Latin “peri” – around, and the Greek “odont” – tooth) disease.

It is usually painless so people tend to underestimate the risk of allowing gum disease to progress and become a more significant problem.

It’s a common misconception that bleeding gums are caused by brushing or flossing too vigorously or using a toothbrush that’s too firm. This is sometimes the case, but the abrasion would probably cause noticeable pain. Instead, it’s likely that you’re not brushing and flossing effectively enough, allowing bacterial deposits to accumulate at the gum line and feed on food particles that haven’t been adequately flushed from your mouth. Read our top tips for oral hygiene.

The bacterial deposits form a whitish film that is hard to detect when you look in the mirror. But you will notice bleeding and redness and eventually inflammation of the gums — an immune response to disease-causing bacteria that flourish in the plaque. As the biofilm grows, with time it also hardens (calcifies), making it increasingly difficult to dislodge. Eventually, only professional cleaning can remove it and sometimes antibiotics are needed. If no action is taken, gum disease will progress, and eventually cause loss of the underlying bone that anchors the teeth.

There are other reasons that gums may bleed, such as elevated hormone levels in women, a side effect of certain medications, or a systemic (bodily) disease.

Whatever the cause, it’s important to get a professional diagnosis promptly and take appropriate therapeutic action as needed. Optimally, with good oral hygiene and regular checkups, you can avoid this problem entirely!

If you would like more information about preventing or treating bleeding gums, please contact Dr. Gurs Sehmi today at 01992 552115 to schedule your free consultation.

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AN EXPLANATION OF BLEEDING GUMS

A common complaint of patients that visit our office is that their gums bleed when they brush and floss. However, they often assume that it’s normal just because it’s not painful.

That assumption couldn’t be further from the truth, and here’s why. Most people think that bleeding gums are from flossing or brushing too hard. If that were the case, there would probably be pain associated with the bleeding.

LEARN THE SIGNS OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Periodontal (gum) diseases are sometimes called “silent” because those who have them may not experience painful symptoms. But certain signs point to the existence of these common diseases.

Look out for these signs If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, it is time to visit our office so these problems can be treated by our premier periodontists before they lead to serious infection and loss of teeth.

Medically reviewed & updated on December 15, 2021

Medically Reviewed By:

Dr David Bloom

Reviewed by Dr David Bloom

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