Bleeding gums is a condition that indicates inflammation of the gums due to certain diseases. This condition can also occur in someone who has a habit of brushing their teeth too hard or suffers from blood clotting disorders.
Bleeding gums that occur occasionally can generally be overcome by maintaining oral hygiene. However, if it continues continuously, bleeding gums can be a sign of a serious health problem that requires further treatment by a doctor.
Causes of Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums generally occurs due to plaque buildup at the boundary line of the teeth and gums. Plaque that builds up can cause gingivitis or inflammation of the gums . If left untreated, plaque can harden into tartar and risk causing bleeding gums.
Untreated gingivitis can also cause periodontitis , which is an infection of the gums that damages the teeth, jawbones, and the connective tissue that connects the teeth and gums. This condition also causes bleeding of the gums.
Risk factors for bleeding gums
Bleeding gums can happen to anyone. However, there are a number of factors that can increase the risk of bleeding gums, namely:
- Have a habit of brushing your teeth too hard
- New to using dental floss or dental floss to clean teeth so that the gums are not used to it
- Wearing dentures that are not fitted properly
- Experiencing hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Suffering from pregnancy-related gum inflammation ( pregnancy gingivitis )
- Have a deficiency of vitamin C and vitamin K
- Have diabetes
- Having a weak immune system, for example as a result of suffering from HIV/AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy
- Taking blood thinners, such as warfarin or clopidogrel
- Suffering from a deficiency of platelets ( thrombocytopenia ), such as in patients with dengue fever
- Suffering from blood cancer ( leukaemia )
- Suffer from a blood clotting disorder ( hemophilia )
Symptoms of Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums are not always painful. However, there are several other symptoms that can accompany bleeding gums, namely:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Lumps on the gums
Depending on the cause, bleeding gums can also be accompanied by other symptoms. For example, bleeding gums due to blood clotting disorders can cause symptoms of nosebleeds, or blood in the urine and stool.
Meanwhile, bleeding gums due to periodontitis can be accompanied by bad breath, pain when chewing food, and loose or loose teeth (dislodged).
When to see a doctor
Check with your doctor if you have bleeding gums. The sooner the examination is carried out, the sooner the cause is treated and complications can be prevented.
Immediately see a doctor if you experience bleeding gums that lasts in the long term or continuously, even after getting treatment. You also need to see a doctor immediately if bleeding gums are accompanied by other symptoms.
Diagnosis of Bleeding Gums
To diagnose bleeding gums, the doctor will conduct a question and answer regarding symptoms, medical history, the patient's habits in maintaining healthy teeth and mouth, as well as the drugs consumed.
After that, the doctor will perform a physical examination of the patient's gums. If needed, the doctor will carry out supporting examinations, including a complete blood count and X-rays.
A complete blood count is done if the doctor suspects that the patient's bleeding gums is caused by a blood disorder. While X-rays are taken if bleeding gums are suspected to be related to problems with the teeth and jaw area.
Bleeding Gums Treatment
Treatment of bleeding gums depends on the underlying cause. For example, if the bleeding gums are caused by gingivitis, the dentist may perform tooth scaling and root canal treatment . Both procedures aim to remove tartar and bacteria from the surface of the teeth and the bottom of the gums.
Doctors can also perform tooth filling procedures to correct tooth position, if there are cavities or uneven teeth, which make it difficult to remove plaque.
In bleeding gums due to periodontitis, tooth scaling and root canal treatment can also be performed. If there is an infection in the oral cavity, the doctor will give antibiotics. However, if periodontitis is severe, the doctor will perform a soft tissue graft or bone graft surgical procedure.
Meanwhile, in bleeding gums caused by other diseases, such as hemophilia or diabetes, doctors will advise patients to control these diseases properly.
If bleeding gums occur, the patient can also perform home treatments to relieve symptoms, such as:
- Compress bleeding gums with gauze soaked in ice water.
- Gargle with salt water .
- Do not use mouthwash that contains alcohol.
- Fulfill your vitamin intake, if your bleeding gums are caused by a lack of vitamin intake.
Complications of Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums due to untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis or gum infection. If periodontitis is left untreated, further complications can occur, such as:
- Abscesses or collections of pus in the gums that occur repeatedly
- Damage to the soft tissues in the mouth
- Gum shrinkage
- Loose teeth
- Loose teeth
Other complications can also occur if the patient has acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) or trench mouth. This condition is a severe infection that occurs in the gums. Some of the complications are:
- Gum damage
- The formation of permanent holes in the gums
- Persistent bad breath (halitosis).
- Gangrene or tissue death in the lips and cheeks, although this is rare
Prevention of Bleeding Gums
Prevention of bleeding gums can be done by making the following efforts:
- Undergo dental examination and treatment every 6 months
- Brush your teeth slowly, at least twice a day
- Using a soft toothbrush
- Using dental floss ( dental floss ) every day, to clean between the teeth and prevent dental plaque from forming
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash every day, but one that doesn't contain alcohol
- Consult a doctor if you have ever had a procedure for placing dentures or braces, especially if the position does not feel right
- Eat a balanced nutritious diet, including vegetables and fruits
- Avoid consuming food or drinks that are too hot or too cold
- Manage stress well so that cortisol hormone levels do not increase and trigger inflammation, including in the gums
- Do not smoke