Most people know to visit the dentist if they have a toothache, but what about other dental problems, such as bleeding gums? Is it best to wait and see whether the situation improves or worsens before consulting a healthcare professional?
Bleeding gums are a relatively common phenomenon that can occur for many reasons. However, in some cases, bleeding gums may indicate a larger problem that requires specialist intervention.
In this article, the dental surgeons at Clinique Evoro provide an overview of the causes of bleeding gums, how to treat them and how to prevent the problem from happening.
Causes of bleeding gums
Before discussing treatment options, it’s important to know why gums bleed in the first place. Here are the main causes of bleeding gums.
Gingivitis: the most common cause
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes surrounding the teeth. It’s a common oral pathology that isn’t usually serious. Gingivitis is generally caused by the accumulation of dental plaque.
Every day, a thin white or yellow film accumulates on your teeth and gums. It’s made up of bacteria, saliva and the food residue that is left behind after each meal. This film is called dental plaque.
When you brush and floss your teeth, you remove some of the plaque. However, if your brushing technique is sub-optimal or you don’t clean your teeth regularly, the dental plaque can accumulate and attack the gums, causing inflammation. As a result, the gums become more sensitive and bleed at the slightest provocation.
If gingivitis isn’t treated in time, it can develop into periodontitis, a type of gum disease that attacks the bone around the teeth and can lead to tooth loss. Therefore, it’s important to treat gingivitis before it becomes more serious. To restore your gums to full health, schedule a dental scaling and work on developing good oral hygiene habits.
Are you someone who believes that the harder your push, the more effective you are?
Unfortunately, this can be counterproductive when it comes to brushing your teeth. Brushing too vigorously is a common mistake that can traumatize and irritate your gums, which may become swollen, sensitive and prone to bleeding.
We suggest using a soft-bristled toothbrush, as recommended by the Canadian Dental Association, and picturing brushing as a tooth massage rather than scrubbing.
Other potential causes
Sometimes, other health problems can cause gums to bleed without physical irritation. Here are a few examples:
- Vitamin C deficiency
- Coagulation disorders (hemophilia, leukemia or Christmas disease)
- Certain medication such as vitamin K antagonists, salicylates and blood thinners
What to do for bleeding gums
Treatment for bleeding gums depends on what’s causing the problem. If you have an underlying health issue such as one of those listed above, that is what will need to be treated. Of course, treatment for the dental symptoms can also be provided.
If your gums are bleeding because of mucosal inflammation (gingivitis), here are a few tips for improving your oral hygiene.
Brush your teeth regularly
Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes at least twice a day to dislodge dental plaque. Don’t forget to floss between your teeth for a thorough cleaning.
Theses good oral hygiene habits help prevent bleeding gums.
Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco
Tobacco and teeth don’t go well together. Quitting is a good decision for your teeth and your health in general.
Visit the dentist regularly
According to the government of Quebec, it’s best to visit an oral health care professional at least once a year for a dental cleaning and exam. The dentist will be able to determine whether scaling is needed.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
The best way to treat gum disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and impeccable oral hygiene to reduce the likelihood of your gums bleeding in future.
Get treatment for your gum problems at Clinique Evoro
The most reliable way to figure out why your gums are bleeding is to make an appointment with a dental professional. An oral health care expert will be able to properly diagnose the problem and determine the most appropriate treatment for your situation.
If you’re looking for an oral and maxillofacial surgery specialist in the Gatineau region, contact Clinique Evoro and make an appointment. We will be happy to help you with any oral or dental problems you are experiencing. If your situation requires urgent attention, contact our emergency dental service in Gatineau without delay.