Bleeding gums are one of the most common symptoms of gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. However, bleeding gums alone are not a surefire indicator of gum disease. Many different types of diseases and conditions can cause a patient's gums to bleed. Whereas our patients should call our office immediately when their gums bleed, they should not automatically assume worst-case scenarios. Often, our diagnostic tests, when combined with questions about the patient's habits and lifestyle, can determine the true cause of the bleeding gums.
Alternate Causes of Bleeding Gums
Vitamin deficiencies can trigger bleeding gums. Patients who have low levels of vitamins C and K should modify their diet or take vitamin supplements as part of treating their gums. Patients with dentures can get bleeding gums if the dentures are a poor fit. This can typically be remedied by an adjustment at our office. Pregnancy can lead to bleeding gums due to the hormonal imbalances in the mother's body. Bleeding disorders – such as leukemia – can also trigger bleeding gums. Bleeding gums is also a symptom in type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Certain medications that act as blood thinners can also cause gums to bleed. Excessive stress can inflame the blood vessels, causing gums to bleed. This is especially likely if the patient grinds their teeth. Smokers and vapers often have bleeding gums due to the harmful chemicals in cigarettes and e-cigs. Finally, bleeding gums can be a result of the patient changing oral care habits, such as using a new toothbrush or being too aggressive while flossing.
Call our office immediately if your gums begin to bleed, especially if the bleeding does not stop immediately. Our professionals will run diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your bleeding gums.