8 Causes of Bleeding Gums

by admin on January 11, 2009

Bleeding gums can be extremely discomforting physically and mentally. It is important that a person understands that gums that bleed signify a problem and that needs to be addressed to heal your gums and stop gum bleeding.


Let’s take a look at the eight possible causes of gum bleeding.

Gum disease: This is the most common cause for bleeding gums. The initial stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis in which gums become swollen and tender. These bleed upon touch especially during actions such as brushing or eating. Gum disease also known as Periodontal disease occurs due to accumulation of plaque which irritates the gums. If gum disease is not treated initially, it progresses to Periodontitis and finally tooth loss.

Vigorous brushing: Brushing with toothpaste is abrasive in nature. Overzealous brushing does more harm than good to the teeth. In rare cases, overzealous brushing can also cause the gums to bleed but getting healthy gums to bleed by vigorous brushing is rare.


Smoking or chewing tobacco
: Smokers tend to have more calculus (Tartar) on their teeth than non-smokers which causes gum disease. The other reason being the irritating effect of tobacco on the gums.

Hormones: Hormone receptors are embedded in gum tissue. If certain hormone levels rise above their normal level, they can cause increase of fluid level in the gum tissue causing them to become red, tender and swollen. These become normal as soon as the hormone levels become normal.

Vitamin K deficiency: Vitamin K is an important factor in the process of blood clotting and its deficiency can cause gums to bleed.

Autoimmune disorders: Autoimmune disorders are disorders in which body’s own immune system damages its own cells. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthiritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus are a few autoimmune disorders which can cause bleeding gums.

Leukemia: Leukemia is the cancer of bone marrow and white blood cells and one of its characteristic features is bleeding gums.

Drugs: Some drugs such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants, nasal sprays and anticoagulants may have the tendency to cause bleeding gums.

It is often found that patient with bleeding gums suffers from some degree of gum disease. So, if you experience bleeding gums, visit a Periodontist (dentist who specializes in treatment of gum disease) or your dentist who will determine the course of action.

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