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Why are my gums bleeding?

03 September 2012

Bleeding gums are an indicator that your gums are inflamed and there is bacteria around the gumline of the teeth. In its early stages, it is called gingivitis but it can be a sign of a more serious problem. Even for a regular brusher and flosser, bleeding can be caused by incorrect technique. Occasionally bleeding is caused by trauma to the gums. Even a small cut can cause a lot of bleeding.

However, other serious causes of bleeding can be due to infection, bleeding or blood disorders, pregnancy, leukemia or periodontal disease.

Infections can result from food impacting in between the teeth causing irritation of the gums, commonly seeds, chilli and popcorn fragments.

Bleeding disorders are often found early in life where bleeding continues for an extended time. Blood disorders can develop at any stage but a blood test can quickly determine any imbalance.

Hormonal changes from pregnancy makes the body more reactive to bacterial plaque and debris, making bleeding and swelling of the gum more common so meticulous cleaning is essential.

Leukemia patients will often get infections, swollen and bleeding gums and sometimes accompanied by tiny red spots, petechiae, under the skin. If there are other symptoms, then it should be checked out by a physician.

Periodontal disease or periodontitis is a dental infection of the jawbones and gum that can seriously affect the teeth. Pockets will form around the teeth that trap bacteria and cause bone loss and spacing between teeth. Eventually this can even leave to tooth mobility or tooth loss. Often there is no pain and bleeding may be the only indicator. However for smokers, there is often less bleeding and these problems are masked. As much as 10% of the population can be genetically predisposed to periodontal disease.

Daily brushing and flossing in conjunction with regular professional dental cleanings and examinations will keep your gum tissue healthy, prevent bleeding and allow for the early detection of gum disease.