Causes and Symptoms of Bleeding Gums
Infections in the oral cavity, vitamin deficiency, underlying diseases and improper dental hygiene are the main causes of bleeding gums.
Causes of bleeding gums are:
- Gingivitis - Gingivitis refers to inflammation of the gums. Poor maintenance of the teeth, such as inadequate brushing or failure to rinse the mouth after meals, results in the teeth being covered by a thin layer of food and bacteria. These bacteria are the chief culprits behind the inflammation. When this plaque build-up remains untreated for a long time, the plaque hardens to form tartar which causes profuse bleeding from the gums.
- Periodontitis - Periodontitis, that is, inflammation of the ligaments and bones supporting the teeth can result in gum bleeding.
- Trauma - Trauma to the gums by brushing the teeth too hard or tooth picking with sharp objects can result in gum bleeding. Bleeding can also be due to injury of the gums by any sharp food item e.g. fish bone.
- Improper technique of dental flossing
- Pregnancy - Hormonal changes in pregnancy predispose the gums to bleeding.
- Use of anti-coagulant medications - Bleeding gums can be seen as a side effect in patients who are on blood thinning medicines.
- Scurvy - Scurvy, a disease caused by deficiency of vitamin C, results in bleeding gums.
- Vitamin K deficiency - Vitamin K is necessary for proper clotting of blood. Deficiency of vitamin K can result in gum bleeding.
- Hot food and chemicals - Hot food and chemicals can end up burning the gums, resulting in bleeding. For example, some people still follow the practice of placing pain relieving tablets on the gum adjacent to the painful tooth, which invariably causes burns.
- Leukemia - Leukemia may also lead to increased bleeding in the gums and oral region.
Symptoms of Bleeding Gums
Soft and spongy gums, pain, bad breath and bleeding are the symptoms of bleeding gums.
Symptoms of bleeding gums are:
- The gums become soft, spongy and swollen.
- Bleeding - Bleeding is usually noticed while brushing the teeth, or in the saliva, while spitting. Eating of any coarse food items may induce bleeding from gums.
- Pain - Bleeding of the gums may occur with or without associated pain. The pain, if present, is usually dull in nature.
- Bad breath.