Bleeding Gums: symptoms and causes

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Bleeding gums could either be a sign of gum disease or a serious disease like leukaemia. Read to find out more!

For healthy gums

Common symptoms of bleeding gums

  • Bleeding in the gums can happen spontaneously or upon provocation, depending on the degree of inflammation. Symptoms are listed below: Bad breath
  • Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums
  • Gum tenderness
  • Mouth sores or ulcers
  • Receding gums
  • Swollen gums

If bleeding in the gums is accompanied by other symptoms like bleeding elsewhere in the body, high fever, night sweats, swollen glands – it could be an indication of a serious malfunction in the body. In that case, visit a doctor without further delay.

What can cause bleeding in the gums.

Plaque deposits on the teeth:

Bleeding gums are typically a result of inadequate removal of plaque from the teeth and gums. This leads to a condition called gingivitis or inflamed gums.

If plaque is not removed, it will solidify into what is called tartar. And if this isn’t controlled, it will lead to periodontics. In the case of periodontics, the bones and gums that hold the teeth are compromised and this can lead to loss of tooth.

Brushing too hard:

In your quest to keep your teeth clean -- you might be brushing vigorously -- injuring the delicate gum tissue. So use a tooth brush with soft bristles and blunted ends.

Ill-fitting dentures:

If your dentures don't fit you too well, they can cause injury to your gums that can cause bleeding.

Improper flossing:

The importance of flossing to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can't reach cannot be undermined. But make sure that you aren't too hard while doing it, triggering bleeding in the gums. While flossing -- gently slide up and down, instead of forcing the floss.

Apart from these local factors, some diseases like leukaemia, scurvy, Vitamin-K deficiencies and excessive use of certain drugs like asprin can also cause bleeding in the gums.

Watch this space for a heads-up on treatment of bleeding gums.

Photography courtesy sxc.hu