Bleeding gums is a condition in which blood leaks from the gums and the spaces between the teeth. It is mainly due to inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at the gum line. Bleeding gums can be detrimental to the overall health.
Bleeding gums is one of the most common conditions affecting the oral cavity. The Chinese noticed bleeding gums as early as 2500 BC. They termed the associated diseases as ‘Ya-Kon’ which means diseases of the soft tissue surrounding the teeth.
Bleeding gums indicates a slowly progressing disease of the gums, which may further involve the bone supporting the teeth and ultimately result in tooth loss. In addition to bleeding, the patient often has pain and bad breath.
The causes of bleeding gums vary from local conditions like inflammation of the gums and trauma, to conditions affecting the whole body like vitamin C or vitamin K deficiency, the use of blood thinning medications, or even leukemia.
The gums stop bleeding following treatment of the underlying condition. The patient is advised to maintain good oral hygiene. Local astringent solutions may provide some relief.