Generally speaking, bleeding gums are a sign that professional dental care is necessary. This is because the most common cause of bleeding gums is a buildup of plaque and tartar along the gum line causing inflammation in the gums — an early form of gum disease called gingivitis . Left untreated, gingivitis may progress to a more advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis .
Unless the bleeding is caused by you biting your tongue too hard, bleeding anywhere inside your mouth is a cause of concern. Gum bleeding, specifically, could be due to gum inflammation. This is the milder form of gum disease called gingivitis which happens due to plaque buildup on the gum lines. Your gums would likely be red and swollen. It can quickly turn into periodontitis if you don’t contact a dentist on time. If you’re experiencing gum bleeding, fill up the patient intake form immediately.
Identifying The Root Cause Of Bleeding Gums Is Important
The context in which you experience bleeding gums is important.
For example, you may notice your gums bleed more (for a brief time) if you begin to floss more frequently or get a toothbrush with harder bristles . This type of bleeding event is largely unconcerned, so long as your gums bleed less — and ultimately stop bleeding — over time as you acclimate to your new dental routine.
Yet some medical conditions and medications (like leukemia, pregnancy, and other hormonal conditions, and blood thinners) increase gum sensitivity, leading to an increased number of bleeding events . In these instances, gum sensitivity and bleeding events can cause gingivitis and advanced gum disease, so working with a qualified medical professional to understand and manage causes that are unrelated to your dental hygiene practices is critical .
Understanding Gum Disease
As plaque and bacteria accumulate near the gum line, they release toxins that irritate and inflame the surrounding tissue. Likewise, the above-listed conditions lead to increased gum inflammation and sensitivity. In response to this inflammation, the body begins to naturally produce enzymes — to fight bacteria and toxins — that break down bone and connective tissue around the teeth [4, 2]. This causes teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.
What is periodontitis?
Periodontitis is the next stage of gingivitis. If you don’t go to the dentist and clean the plaque buildup, it can develop into a serious form of gum infection.
First, it will damage your soft gum tissue and loosen your jawbone’s strength. Finally, the gum bleeding will turn into massive pain. You will have a real chance of losing your tooth and tissues at some point.
These pockets develop in between your gum and teeth area. These are bags of tartar, plaque, and bacteria. The pockets only build up more and more with time, and no amount of brushing helps.
The bacteria invading your gum tissue can also get to your bloodstream. As a result, your immune system may be impacted, leading to heart diseases, respiratory issues, blood sugar problems, and even arthritis.
To treat periodontitis, your dentist will have to do professional cleaning if it is at the initial stage. However, if it has gotten worse, periodontal surgery may be on the horizon.
You’re looking at a surgery cost that can range anywhere from $500 to $10000. All are treatable at a lower price if you show up for your dental checkups on time.
The Modern Prevalence Of Gum Disease
Historically speaking, this type of gum disease process was not particularly prevalent among early humans or our pre-Victorian ancestors because their diets were low in sugar and carbohydrates and their lifespans were relatively short . Yet, today, gum disease is much more prevalent and problematic. More specifically:
- 11% of the global population suffers from severe gum disease .
- Seven in ten Canadians will develop gum disease in their lifetime .
- As much as 20% of Canadians currently have undiagnosed gum disease .
- Dentists in Vancouver and other provinces have noted a recent rise in the number of older patients treated for gum disease, suggesting that the prevalence of gum disease among Canadians is increasing .
Consequences Of Gum Disease
Our understanding of the consequences of untreated gum disease increases parallel to the number of people diagnosed with and treated for various degrees of gum disease. For example, any dentist in Vancouver can now tell you that irregular attendance at routine dental checkups dramatically increases the prevalence and severity of gum disease .
Moreover, Canadian health authorities and dental health experts can now empirically link gum disease not only to tooth loss, but to other severe health consequences like heart cardiovascular and respiratory disease, strokes, and osteoporosis .
How to stop gum bleeding temporarily?
Now, your doctor’s appointment might be fixed, but you don’t think you can bear the night with the bleeding gum and the subsequent pain. So what can you do to stop gum bleeding for the time being?
- If you have gauze at home, moisten it slightly with water and press it gently against the area of your mouth affected.
- An ice cube or ice pack can be as effective. Hold these against your gums for about 10 minutes. The bleeding should stop.
- Look for antibacterial mouthwash in your home. They are great for reducing inflammation and relaxing swollen gums. They also bring down the bacterial level.
- Mix turmeric in water to create a turmeric paste. Apply it over your gum for ten minutes.
- Splash a pinch of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle with it. It will clean the plaque buildup for the time being.
If you have particularly sensitive gums, replace your toothbrush with ones that have extremely soft bristles. They are nicer on your gums.
When To Contact A Dentist In Vancouver About Bleeding Gums
As a rule, if your gums bleed while eating or regularly while you are brushing, flossing, or applying/removing dental appliances (like retainers or dentures), you should contact a dentist in Vancouver immediately. Frequent bleeding of the gums under these conditions is a concerning indication of the likely presence of gum disease or, in the case of bleeding associated with dental appliances, a need for professional fitting/adjustment [9, 1].
At-Home Steps To Stop Bleeding Gums
If your gums bleed only infrequently or have recently begun bleeding, you may be able to manage mild or early-onset gum disease at home. For example, making simple dietary changes — including reducing carbohydrate intake and taking certain vitamin supplements — can dramatically reduce inflammation in gum tissue and the resultant gum disease .
Similarly, making positive changes to your dental hygiene routine — like investing in high-quality fluoride toothpaste, fluoride oral rinses, brushing twice per day and flossing daily — can help control and cure gum disease in its early stages and keep it from reoccurring .
That said, the only guaranteed way to stop bleeding gums associated with gum disease is to contact a dentist in Vancouver for immediate treatment and to receive definitive recommendations for effective ongoing at-home care.
Try Smile Well Dental. Our dentists will help you resolve your bleeding gum issue, and leave you with healthy and clean gums and teeth.
While these methods can stop gum bleeding temporarily, only professional dentists can put a stop to it.
Book your appointment with Smile Well Dental soon because you don’t want gingivitis to develop into periodontitis. There is no need to cause more health complications for yourself.