Bleeding Gums Treatment

If you’ve noticed blood when brushing your teeth, it is essential not to ignore it. Bleeding gums are extremely common. It may simply indicate that you are brushing too hard. It can also be a symptom of other more serious dental issues, which could cause more extensive problems down the road.

Woman shows signs of gum disease from bleeding gums.

Bleeding gums is a sign of gum disease. You should see your periodontist if you have bleeding gums.

Signs and Symptoms of Bleeding Gums

The most apparent sign of bleeding gums is visible blood in your saliva or along the gumline during or after brushing. However, sometimes bleeding gums can go unnoticed, especially if you are using a colored toothpaste. Another symptom of bleeding gums is soreness and redness around the gum line or between the teeth. If you notice that your gums are bleeding or that they are sore, we recommend that you book a consultation with Dr. Markle or Dr. Herman to discuss treatment solutions.

The Most Common Causes of Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can be caused by a number of different things, some of which are more concerning than others.

Gum Disease

By far, the most common cause of bleeding gums is gum disease, specifically gingivitis. Gingivitis is a condition caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth. It is currently estimated that 80% of Americans have gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. In extreme cases, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.

Vitamin C and Vitamin K Deficiency

A lack of vitamin C and vitamin K in your diet may cause gums to bleed easily. If our doctors suspect that this may be the case, then they will likely refer you to your general practitioner for blood work.

Brushing Too Hard

In some instances, bleeding gums is simply an indication that you are brushing your teeth too hard or with a brush that is too firm. Brushing your teeth too firmly can lead to other problems such as reduced enamel and receding gum line. The use of softer bristles may reduce the amount your gums bleed. It is important to follow your dentist’s advice if they suggest you change your toothbrush.

What Bleeding Gums Could Lead To

If left untreated, bleeding gums can quickly develop into more serious issues that come with far worse and troublesome symptoms. If not caught early, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis that will destroy the bone that holds your teeth, leading to tooth loss.

Treatment for Bleeding Gums

Woman prevents gum disease with dental checkup. In dental chair.To prevent bleeding gums from turning into a more serious problem, it is a good idea to book an appointment with Dr. Markle or Dr. Herman. Depending on the reason why your gums are bleeding, they will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

In general, good dental hygiene is the best thing that you can do to manage bleeding gums. While visiting our office, we may suggest a more thorough professional cleaning that goes both above and below the gumline. The cleaning will remove any build-up of plaque and reduce the bacteria levels on your gums to prevent worsening periodontal disease. We may also suggest that you use an antiseptic mouthwash to kill any remaining bacteria and prevent a build-up of plaque in the future.

If your gums are inflamed and sore you may be advised to use a softer toothbrush to prevent bleeding and to allow your gums to heal. If a build-up of plaque is the problem we may recommend an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can be much more effective at removing plaque from close to the gum line.

Treating Bleeding Gums Due to Periodontitis

If your gums are bleeding due to periodontitis, depending on how severe your case is, your treatment options could be non-surgical or surgical.

Non-surgical treatment options for periodontitis include:

  • Scaling to remove tartar and bacteria from the surface of your teeth
  • Root planing to smooth root surfaces and remove bacterial byproducts, or
  • Antibiotics to help control the bacterial infection

If you have advanced periodontitis, you may require dental surgery to more effectively clean deep underneath your gums. If your gum and bone tissue has already been damaged, then you may also need soft tissue or bone grafts to encourage re-growth.

Baton Rouge Perio also uses PerioLase™ for the Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP™) to promote new tissue regeneration.

Whatever the reasons for bleeding gums our doctors at Baton Rouge Perio can answer your questions and will help you keep your mouth healthy. If you have any questions about your dental health, please schedule an appointment with us. We would love to speak with you.