Understanding the Common Causes of Bleeding Gums and Treatment Options

When brushing or flossing your teeth, do you notice blood spots in your sink? Bleeding gums have many causes, including the wrong teeth-cleaning technique. Sometimes, they could be a sign of a more serious issue, like periodontal disease.

Bleeding gums aren’t a cause of concern in themselves, but the underlying cause may be. If your gums bleed when brushing or flossing, schedule an appointment with Eckland Family Dental. We’ll pinpoint the cause of bleeding gums and devise a treatment plan to restore optimal gum health.

What causes bleeding gums?

Several factors can cause bleeding gums, with gum disease being the most common culprit. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. This sticky, colorless bacterial film constantly forms in the mouth as harmful bacteria interact with saliva and food debris.
Dental plaque is easily removable with flossing and brushing. However, when you slack in your oral hygiene regimen, plaque builds up and inflames your gingival tissues, causing gingivitis—the earliest form of gum disease.
Bleeding gums are just one of the signs of gingivitis. Other symptoms include red, puffy, and tender gums. When you fail to treat gingivitis, it progresses to periodontitis, damaging your gum tissues and teeth-supporting bone. Advanced gum disease causes gum recession, chronic bad breath, and loose teeth.

Other causes of bleeding gums

Gum disease isn’t the only reason why your gums bleed. The other common causes include:

  • Improper brushing or aggressive brushing and flossing
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy
  • Vitamin C or K deficiency
  • Healing after another procedure, such as implant surgery
  • Infected tooth (dental abscess)
  • Severe health issues like leukemia, anemia, liver disease, and blood clotting disorders
  • Blood thinning medications, like aspirin

Regardless of what you think may cause bleeding gums, you should see your dentist immediately. We’ll examine your gums, determine the cause, and devise a personalized treatment plan.

How do we treat bleeding gums?

If your bleeding gums are related to gum disease, our dental team will offer treatment based on the severity of the infection. If the disease is at the gingivitis stage, we’ll combine standard cleanings with diligent at-home oral hygiene. These techniques remove built-in plaque and calcified deposits (tartar) to reverse gingivitis.

If your infection is moderate to severe, we recommend deep teeth cleaning. This procedure employs specialized instruments to clean the surfaces of your teeth meticulously and the deep pockets within your gums, effectively eliminating hardened plaque, bacterial accumulations, and other substances.

After periodontal debridement, the dentist smoothes (polishes) the tooth roots to remove rough spots that create good hiding spots for unwanted bacteria. After scaling and root planing, your gums will start healing and eventually return to their healthy, pink state.

Act now to address bleeding gums with Dr. Kale Eckland

Bleeding gums can indicate a more severe problem, so don’t ignore the issue any longer. If you are in Redmond or Everett, WA, call (425) 448-6339 or (425) 249-3830 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kale Eckland and the team.