Should you be concerned about bleeding gums? In a word, yes. It’s a sign that bacteria have taken hold and gum disease has started. It’s possible for healthy gums to bleed occasionally due to unusually aggressive brushing or flossing, but when blood appears without excess pressure, bacteria are at work. Your oral health is at risk, and it’s a condition that can spread to the rest of your body, if you avoid dental care.
Periodontal disease requires special treatment and the team at Nobel Dentistry in Koreatown, Los Angeles, California, are specialists who can reverse your case of gum disease, restoring your mouth to health while stopping the bleeding that accompanies periodontal issues.
Periodontal disease, the medical term for gum disease, is the most common cause of bleeding gums. Almost half of all American adults over the age of 30 have a periodontal condition that develops without noticeable symptoms in its early stages. It’s not until bleeding starts that most people realize they have a problem.
Bacteria and food debris combine on the surface of your teeth, forming dental plaque, a sticky substance that’s difficult to remove. As plaque accumulates, it hardens into tartar, which can push below the gumline, forming pockets in which bacteria breed. This causes swollen, red gums that bleed easily with the slightest contact.
The combination of oral care at home and professional dental cleanings is the best way to combat plaque and stop gum disease. Skipping your regular cleanings could lead to a procedure called scaling and root planing, an intense procedure to remove tartar above and below your gum line.
Bleeding gums and your health
Bleeding gums connect with some potentially serious medical issues. You may need a medical evaluation to identify the underlying causes of your bleeding gums or to investigate problems that gum disease influences elsewhere in your body.
Both type 1 and 2 diabetics have an increased risk of gum disease. Diabetes weakens your mouth’s ability to fight bacteria so you’re more vulnerable to infections like gum disease. Elevated blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can also interfere with the healing process that naturally combats gum disease.
Gums that bleed easily may indicate the presence of leukemia since it reduces your platelet count. Blood platelets cause bleeding to clot as well as directing the healing process. Low platelet levels make it more difficult for your body to control bleeding. Other physical conditions that interfere with clotting include thrombocytopenia, hemophilia, and Von Willebrand disease.
Shortages of vitamin C or K may influence bleeding gums. Vitamin C drives tissue growth and repair, healing wounds and strengthening teeth and bones, while vitamin K assists blood clotting, as well as bone strength.
During pregnancy, bleeding gums may link with high levels of progesterone and estrogen, increasing blood flow to mucous membranes. This can raise plaque bacteria sensitivity, contributing to bleeding. Morning sickness can reduce saliva production, allowing bacteria to linger in your mouth, speeding the production of plaque.
Specialized dental care with Nobel Dentistry can get your mouth back on track. Call or click today to schedule your next visit.