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Alternative Names Return to topGums - bleeding
Definition Return to top
Bleeding gums can be a sign that you are at risk for, or already have, gum disease. However, persistent gum bleeding may be due to serious medical conditions such as leukemia and bleeding and platelet disorders.
Considerations Return to top
It is important to follow the instructions from your dentist in order to maintain healthy gums. Improper brushing and flossing technique may actually irritate or traumatize the gum tissue.
Causes Return to top
Bleeding gums are mainly due to inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at the gum line. This will lead to a condition called gingivitis, or inflamed gums.
If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and dental appointments, it will harden into what is known as tartar. Ultimately, this will lead to increased bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and jawbone disease known as periodontitis.
Other causes of bleeding gums include:
Home Care Return to top
Visit the dentist at least once every 6 months for plaque removal. Follow your dentist's home care instructions.
You should brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush after every meal. The dentist may recommend rinsing with salt water or hydrogen peroxide and water. Avoid using commercial, alcohol-containing mouthwashes, which aggravate the problem.
Flossing teeth twice a day can prevent plaque from building up. Avoiding snacking between meals and reducing carbohydrates can also help. Follow a balanced, healthy diet.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Consult your health care provider if:
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums, and ask questions such as:
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:Update Date: 5/28/2008 Updated by: Jason S. Baker, DMD, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Private Practice, Yonkers, New York. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.