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What your Bleeding Gums May be Telling You

Family Dentistry Methuen MA When you spend time taking care of your teeth, the last thing you want to see is bleeding gums. We have been told countless times that bleeding gums mean gum disease. The very idea of this leads many patients to ignore bleeding or to explain it away as having something stuck in their teeth or having mild irritation. The truth is, there are instances of bleeding gums that do not indicate you are in the throws of periodontal disease. Our objective in evaluating this problem is to understand why your gums may be bleeding so we can better manage your overall oral health.

Bleeding Gums Explained

Let’s go for the obvious first because it is the most common reason for bleeding gums: gingivitis. It is important that we differentiate between gingivitis and gum disease. The term gingivitis describes a condition of inflammation. The outermost layer of gum tissue is the gingiva. It is delicate and can become inflamed when the acidity of the mouth increases. Bleeding is the primary sign that your gums may be inflamed and an indication that you may need to floss more, brush your teeth better, use an antibacterial rinse, or see your dentist. You may need to do all of these things. A thorough dental exam at the first sign of bleeding is advantageous because it can prevent infection.

Plaque and tartar and acid are not the only reasons that gums may bleed. In fact, one study interestingly concluded that individuals who are deficient in vitamin C and/or vitamin K might be more prone to bleeding gums than those with healthy nutritional levels. If you’re taking good care of your teeth (that means brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist) and your gums bleed frequently, you might test this theory that vitamin C and K need a boost. This boost can come from a good multivitamin or from eating fresh citrus fruit and leafy greens several times a week. Just remember, a thorough dental exam and cleaning can go a long way in minimizing bleeding.

Finally, pregnant women and individuals who frequently take aspirin or other medication that thins the blood may also experience more frequent bleeding.

We care about your oral health. Contact our Methuen or Windham office for help with bleeding gums.