Bleeding gums are one of the main reasons for consultation in dental centers. Bleeding in the gums can be caused by inflammatory or infectious processes, which may be related to serious dental disease.
The gums represent the dental support, it is a tissue specially designed to maintain the blood supply of the teeth and keep them fixed to the bone when inflammatory or infectious processes occur the functions of the gum are compromised and the teeth can suffer consequences such as color changes or risk of periodontal disease.
7 Causes of bleeding gums
- Bacterial plaque
Bacterial plaque is a transparent layer that adheres to the teeth, it occurs after each meal especially if they are foods high in sugar. Bacterial plaque forms daily and is removed with daily brushing. When plaque builds up the gums become irritated and inflamed, this is one of the main reasons for bleeding gums.
- Dental tartar
The accumulated bacterial plaque hardens and creates a thick layer on the teeth, increasing bacterial proliferation. Bacteria and tartar cause inflammation of the gums can also cause infection, bleeding, redness and other discomforts such as dental pain.
The inflammation of the gums is known with the term gingivitis, its main symptom is recurrent bleeding of the gums, due to inflammation, the gums are usually more sensitive, small touches or brushing can cause bleeding.
- Hormonal changes
Pregnancy, menstruation, and consumption of oral contraceptives are frequent causes of bleeding gums, this is due to hormonal changes, the bacterial activity can be modified depending on the activity of estrogen and progesterone, this causes bacteria present in bacterial plaque increase in number and activity
Diabetes alters the pH of the body and metabolism of food, especially starches, sugars and fats, these changes alter the usual bacterial flora of dental plaque, this can cause bleeding of the gums, diabetes can also cause weakening of tooth enamel and increase bacterial growth.
- Bad brushing technique
Improper brushing, too strong or done with a worn-out bristle brush, can cause recurrent bleeding of the gums because they are injured.
The consumption of some medications such as aspirin and antibiotics can have effects on blood processes, such as aspirin. Aspirin has great anticoagulant effects; antibiotics alter the organic microbiota producing an increase in the number of bacteria or their activity. Cold syrups usually have a high sugar content to improve their flavor, this works as an inducer of bacterial plaque.
Complications of bleeding gums
The main complication of bleeding gums is the development of gingivitis and periodontal diseases.
The most frequent symptoms of gingivitis:
- Bleeding gums
- Gum sensitivity
- Bad breath
- inflamed and red gums
When gingivitis is not treated properly, the risk of periodontitis is increased. During periodontitis, inflammation and infection extend to the bone, the teeth can be damaged due to lack of support and infectious processes. The consequences of periodontitis are not reversible.
- Dental abscesses
Dental abscesses are caused by bacterial accumulations, when the gums are inflamed they usually separate from the tooth, in that space debris, bacterial plaque and tartar accumulate, this produces an infectious process that can be located only in that place or migrate to the dental root. Dental abscesses are very painful and merit antibiotic, analgesic and drainage treatment of the abscess.
How to prevent bleeding gums?
- Adequate brushing
Proper brushing ensures correct elimination of bacterial plaque and food waste.
Tips for proper brushing
- Brushing time is important, to ensure a complete cleaning brushing must be done for 2 minutes.
- The movements should be short and smooth, preferably with a soft bristle brush.
- The top and bottom teeth must be cleaned, outside and inside.
- Chewing areas, with dental arrangements or difficult access such as the back teeth, should be brushed properly.
- The tongue should be cleaned properly, it also accumulates bacteria, gentle brushing eliminates bacteria providing a feeling of freshness and cleanliness throughout the mouth.
- Adequate food
Poor feeding can increase the risk of bleeding in the gums, vitamin C and iron deficiency are linked to bleeding gums, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals guarantees good levels of calcium, fluoride, vitamin C and iron, these substances are important for oral health.
- Avoid the consumption of cigarettes, alcohol and sugary drinks.
Cigarette smoking is highly irritating to the oral mucosa, favoring the irritation and inflammation of the gums. Sugary drinks and alcohol increase the production of bacteria and weaken tooth enamel.
- Visits to the dentist
Preventive measures of bleeding gums include visits to the dentist, professional cleaning is necessary at least twice a year, these cleanings, remove the dirt accumulated in hard-to-reach spaces with the toothbrush and floss. Visits to the dentist allow reviews of oral health and early detection of diseases such as tooth decay or gingivitis.
- Use of suitable dental hygiene materials
It is possible to have a good brushing technique and bleed due to the presence of bacterial plaque, this is because the hygiene materials used are not adequate.
It is necessary to use high-quality toothpaste; it must contain mainly fluorine. It should be used a minimum of twice a day or after the main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
Mouth rinses are solutions designed for dental hygiene, currently, there are compositions available for different needs, the mouthwash has the advantage that it reaches all the spaces of the oral cavity
Dentists make use of mouthwashes containing anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medications to treat moderate and severe cases of gingivitis and other dental diseases.
The gums should not bleed with brushing, if this happens it is because the gum is inflamed. Inflammation is always a sign of gingivitis.
Trauma bleeds are a punctual event, isolated from an inflammatory process of the gums, instead of frequent bleeding during brushing, during chewing and even doing nothing, represents an important degree of inflammation of the gum tissue, in this case, it is recommended to consult with a dentist.