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Bleeding Gums

Bleeding Gums Causes and Symptoms

Bleeding gums is a common symptom of the periodontal diseases gingivitis and periodontitis. Also called gum disease, periodontal disease is a serious bacterial infection that destroys the gums and the surrounding tissues of the mouth. Dental caries, or cavities, in the tooth affect only the tooth. Periodontal disease affects the bones around the tooth, the gums, the coverings of the roots of the teeth and the membrane of the tooth. If the inflammation is left untreated, the disease will continue and the underlying bones around the teeth will dissolve and will no longer be able to hold the teeth in place.

Bleeding Gums Symptoms:

Red, swollen, tender gums are the first sign of periodontal disease. Other symptoms may include:

  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums (gums that pull away from the teeth)
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Dentures that no longer fit
  • Puss between the teeth and gums
  • A change in bite and jaw alignment

Bleeding gums are mainly caused by inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at the gum line which can lead to gingivitis and eventually periodontitis. Other causes of bleeding gums include:

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Brushing too hard
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Improper flossing
  • Infection (either tooth or gum-related)
  • Leukemia
  • Scurvy
  • Use of blood thinners
  • Vitamin K deficiency