You might feel that you must have traumatized your gums or some might even believe that the teeth bleed rather than the gums. So, is it really your teeth that bleed or your gums? Your gums are the ones that bleed spontaneously or on probation.
There have been many reasons as to why your gums bleed. It could be just a trauma, or maybe some hard brushing or it could even be an underlying cause that will lead your gums to break their blood vessels. Your exact reason to be ruled out could only be achieved by going to a dentist. It is your dentist who will let you know the actual reason behind it. He might tell you on the spot after examining or it might be possible that your dentist would have to get some of your diagnostic tests done if the cause seems systemic.
The most common known factor found for the gums to bleed is’ gingivitis’. What is gingivitis? Gingivitis is the swelling of gums or the gingival that would lead to bleeding and inflammation.
Gingivitis is basically the starting stage of the gum diseases in the world of dentistry. It is actually a reaction of defense mechanism of the body to the invading bacteria found in the plaque and calculus accumulated in our teeth. A series of reactions occur which lastly in the end lead to the gums to swell and eventually bleed.
- During gingivitis gums get red and swollen. They get tender and bleed when you brush or floss.
- Teeth get sensitive too.
- Foul smell is another issue in gingivitis.
One more reason after gingivitis that could lead to bleeding gums is ‘periodontitis’. This is defined as a condition in which the periodontal tissue i.e. the tissues around the tooth gets inflamed. This condition is a step ahead to the severe form of gingivitis. There are three stages of periodontitis namely; mild, moderate and severe periodontitis. Initially there is not much loss of the periodontal fibers but later on when this condition progresses as there is no hygiene being maintained properly than the recession proceeds to a severe level. The later level is as severe as the loss of tooth to occur.
- During periodontitis the gums bleed spontaneously, without even probing it.
- Swelling of gums along with deep gingival pockets.
- Eventually loss of teeth.
Trauma anywhere can lead to bleeding. Here we are not talking about you being hit or fallen down accidently. But here we talk about the fact that the gums can even bleed when we brush really hard. Brushing hard is never recommended by any dental practitioner. People often confuse the fact that brushing hard has nothing to do with the cleanliness of teeth. Infact it has been recommended that one must use a tooth brush which has soft bristles because the ones with hard bristles will lead to abrasion and nothing else. Abrasion is the wear off caused when two surfaces rub against each other.
There have been proper brushing techniques that have been recommended in the world of dentistry. One must follow those instructions and brush that recommended way.
- Brushing hard can lead the gums to get traumatized easily and bleed.
- Trauma is not that huge but it still causes the gums to bleed at that moment.
You got that pregnancy test positive! Congratulations! Now what next? Pregnancy brings you a lot of packages and new changes that you were not experiencing before. Pregnancy can be a whole new experience in terms of a lot of things. It is not just the changes in the appearance but it is also the changes that the body experiences on the whole from the inside as well.
It is a mixture of new changes in the emotions and the body. Talking about dentistry so yes there are changes occurring in that domain as well. Swelling of the gums to pregnancy epulis, everything occurs. Pregnancy epulis also known as pregnancy tumor which is basically an enlargement of the gums occurs during the period of pregnancy among a few women.
- During the period of pregnancy mothers encounter red, swollen and tender gums that bleed on brushing and flossing.
- This is known as pregnancy gingivitis more commonly.
- Pregnancy gingivitis is a condition which is experienced by half the moms where the gums get inflamed because of the hormonal changes.
- This change in the hormones makes the gums much sensitive to bacteria that reside in the plaque.
5. Vitamin C Deficiency
Now we shall talk about the underlying deficiencies in the body. Vitamins are an important part of the body which needs to be kept in balance. Unlike vitamin D, vitamin C cannot be made within the body. So, one must keep in mind that vitamin C must be attained by diet. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is found in a number of food items like, lemon, lime tomatoes and other citrus fruits. Besides these it is also found in fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, kiwi fruits etc.
Vitamin C is basically needed by the body to constitute a substance known as ‘collagen’. This substance is used for the health and repair of various tissues in the body. Theses tissues include skin, bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood vessel walls and teeth.
- The first symptoms of vitamin C deficiency would include tiredness, weakness, muscle pain, joint pain, and even easy bruising.
- Later on the symptoms may include dry skin, splitting hair, poor wound healing etc.
- As far the oral cavity is concerned it also leads to swelling and discolouration of the gums along with unexpected and sudden bleeding from the gums.
6. Vitamin K Deficiency
Did you know that a little part of vitamin K is being supplied by the bacteria that are living in the intestine rather than the dietary source. Vitamin K tends to play an important role in the clotting factor. There is a cascade of chain that is being followed in order to stop the bleeding during a cut and bleeding. There are different clotting factors but the clotting factors ii, vii, xi and x require vitamin k for their synthesis. Vitamin k is usually found in the new born babies. Medically if a person is suffering through vitamin k defiency he would suffer through bleeding due to a minor trauma or a trivial trauma. There is even subcutaneous bleeding, petechiae, hematoma etc.
- Hematoma formation and bleeding gums is also a manifestation found dir to vitamin K deficiency.
- If someone had been on a long term course of antibiotics than micro flora could be destroyed leading to the increase in bleeding tendency.
7. Bleeding Disorders
Bleeding disorder is basically known as coagulopathy in medical terminology. This occurs when the clotting factors are defective and do not function properly. Due to the defect in the coagulation pathways, excessive and prolonged bleeding could occur. These bleeding disorders could be either inherited or acquired.
Hemophilia is a common inherited bleeding disorder. Von WilleBrand is another one which affects both, male and the female. And the most common one is the platelet decrease.
Platelets are the blood cells that circulate in the vessels to let the blood to clot when there is a cut or a bruise injury that has occurred.
- These are just a few examples of bleeding disorders given.
- Whenever there is an issue of bleeding disorder, besides the bleeding of gums there also other symptoms that show up like formation of bruises, unexplained bleeding from the nose etc.
- There is even a heavy bleeding that occurs from a dental cut.
Yes, medications too play a part in bleeding. It is not only from the gums but elsewhere. When a person is suffering through a chronic disease he has to be on a regular dose of medicine. This dose of medicine can be dangerous in the long term. Every medication has got its own side effects and a person must try and keep a track on the changes that show up after they have started off with the dose. Every medication that has been taken in long term has its own side effects.
- Certain drugs like aspirin, clopidogrel which are given for the heart disorders might lead to bleeding gums when taken for a long period of time.
- Other blood thinners also work this way.
9. Liver Diseases
This is a very important organ of the body. Liver diseases have been related to gum bleeding as well.
- Liver is supposed to produce clotting factors that are to play an important role in the clotting of blood in our body.
- Hence any liver disease will surely effect the coagulation and bleeding and might also produce an effect on the gums to bleed.
The word cancer seems to be danger within itself, but with the experiments and discoveries cancer has not been left as an untreatable disease. There are number cancers that would lead to bleeding of the gums.
- Talking leukemia which a blood cancer in which the white blood cells which work for the defense of the body increase in number or are found to be immature in size, also leads to gum bleeding.
- Multiple myeloma is a cancer of bone marrow might also lead to bleeding of the gums.
- Pregnancy gingivitis is only limited to the period of pregnancy.
- Gingivitis is basically caused due to poor oral hygiene.
- If gingivitis is treated with the maintenance of proper oral hygiene it will not progress to periodontitis.
- It is always better to look into the basic reasons rather than going for the complicated ones.