Are Bleeding Gums a Dental Emergency?Munil Koppanati
Bleeding gums, if persistent and occur every time you brush or floss, could be a sign of gingivitis or more severe infections of the oral cavity. However, bleeding from the gums once in a while, particularly after brushing really hard, is perfectly normal.
Most patients who have chronic bleeding gums are those who have neglected to properly care for their teeth. This means not brushing at least twice a day, not flossing regularly, or not attending regularly scheduled dental appointments. Not participating in proper dental care can lead to plaque and tartar formation on the teeth and gums, damage the gum line, and allow for infection and inflammation of the gums which is more formally known as gingivitis. This can lead to receding gums, injury to teeth, and even erosion of the underlying bone.
However, there are also other causes for bleeding gums such as excessive smoking, heart disease, diabetes, and even vitamin deficiencies. In these instances, a doctor should be consulted to help determine if you do in fact have one of these other underlying medical conditions.
If you have bleeding gums, it’s important to visit a dentist as soon as possible to figure out what the underlying cause is. In most cases, if the underlying cause is due to poor oral hygiene, your dentist will work to get rid of plaque and tartar, and help kill off any infection that may be occurring in your mouth.
When Should I Worry About Bleeding Gums?
You should worry about bleeding gums if it’s been going on for a while and if you have neglected to take care of your teeth. Other signs like sensitivity, pain, swelling, irritation, fever, and difficulty chewing are also things that should prompt you to see an emergency dentist as soon as possible.
In some cases, a bleeding gum could point towards a severe infection or developing abscess which would impact not only your gums, but also your teeth and the underlying bone that secures your teeth in place.
A severe infection also has a risk of spreading to other parts of the body, so quick diagnosis and treatment is crucial.
What Will the Dentist Do For Bleeding Gums?
First, your dentist will take x-rays of your mouth to determine if there is any underlying bone disease, abscess formation, or any other potential cause of injury to the gums and teeth. In most cases, bleeding gums are a sign of bacteria accumulation due to the lack of professional cleaning or dental hygiene.
In these cases, your dentist will perform a deep cleaning to help rid of hard stuck plaque and tartar, and hopefully kill any bacteria that may be adherent to the gum line. If a pocket or abscess is found, your dentist will attempt to drain the area and provide antibiotics which can help kill off any bacteria.
If your dentist determines that there is no real dental infection, then your bleeding gums are most likely caused by some other underlying medical condition which can be diagnosed and treated by your doctor.