Hi, Dr James here, and I’m one of the Principal Dentists at Elevate Dental here in Melbourne.
Earlier today, I was pleased to meet our new patient Zoe, a banker based in South Yarra. She mentioned that in the past few days, she noticed that her gums were often bleeding. She was worried that it might be caused by something serious. So she asked me, “Why are my gums bleeding?”
This is such a great question, as we often get patients coming in with the same concern, so I thought I’d make a short video to share with you the causes of bleeding gums.
Healthy gums do not bleed. So if they do start bleeding, it is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. It is important to rule out a medical reason.
Ask your GP to eliminate the following causes such as vitamin deficiencies, especially vitamin C and vitamin K, blood disorders or conditions. There are also blood-thinning medications that can increase bleeding time, such as warfarin, aspirin and heparin.
Dentally, many things can also cause bleeding gums. The most common cause is gum disease. This can range from mild gingivitis, where the gum and jawbone support is still ideal, to active progressive gum or periodontal disease, where there is now less than ideal gum and jawbone support.
Periodontal disease affects between 30% to 50% of the general population and, if not diagnosed and left untreated, can lead to sensitive teeth, loose teeth, gum infections and premature loss of teeth. While there is a genetic predisposition, healthy oral hygiene habits and regular dental check appointments play a critical role in preventing gum disease and minimising its complications.
Ill-fitting appliances, such as dentures and braces and poorly-shaped dental work such as fillings and crowns cause a bacterial plaque trap, and this can be impossible to keep clean. This can cause inflamed and bleeding gums.
With braces, immaculate oral hygiene is essential. For denture wearers, they may plan for other teeth replacement alternatives that are better suited for healthier gums.
Where possible, badly shaped fillings or crowns either require reshaping or complete replacement to ensure a perfect shape and fit needed for healthy gums.
Bleeding gums can also affect pregnant patients and nursing moms. This is due to the hormonal changes during this time. While pregnancy gingivitis is relatively common, it is important to maintain good oral care habits and regular dental check appointments to prevent this from progressing to active gum or periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease in pregnant patients are risk factors for adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, fetal growth restriction, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
If your gums bleed persistently or if you experience ongoing pain associated with bleeding gums, don’t wait for your next checkup. Here at Elevate Dental, we offer same-day emergency dental appointments and we would love to look after you.
We are conveniently located at both Hawthorn and Richmond with free onsite parking. Simply call us on 1300 2 SMILE, complete the form on our website, or direct message us on social media, and we’ll be in touch to help you organise your consultation. See you in the next video.
Note: All content and media on the Elevate Dental website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.