Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

Proper periodontal care is essential to your oral health—which, in turn, is essential to the well-being of your entire body. For this reason, any abnormalities in your gums should be noted and brought to the attention of your dental care provider. Our Coronado dentist Jason Keckley, DMD has extensive experience identifying and treating the potential causes of bleeding gums. In many cases, the culprit is gum disease.

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a common but potentially serious condition that is believed to affect around 50% of Americans. It is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar along the gumline. Often accompanied by swelling, redness, and irritation, bleeding gums are one of the most common signs of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. If the infection goes untreated for too long, it can permanently damage the mouth and lead to tooth loss, gum recession, and even an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

Fortunately, when diagnosed early enough, gingivitis can be reversed under the care of an experienced, qualified dentist. Procedures designed to promote periodontal health include: scaling (a non-surgical procedure in which the harmful bacteria below the gumline is removed), root planing (in which the tooth root is smoothed out to repel future plaque buildup), and bone grafting (a surgery which replaces bone tissue that has been harmed by plaque). Scaling and root planing are often performed together as part of a deep cleaning, whereas bone grafting is typically reserved for more advanced stages of gum disease (known as periodontitis).

Note that while bleeding gums often indicate gum disease, there may be another reason your gums are bleeding. For instance, tobacco usage can lead to poor periodontal health, and some experience a decline in gum health while pregnant. Regardless, bleeding gums should not be ignored; waiting too long to seek help can severely harm the gums and cause long-term oral and systemic health issues.

Dr. Keckley and the rest of our team at Coronado Classic Dentistry are here to help monitor and improve your oral health, including your periodontal health. We encourage you to contact us if your gums have started to bleed.

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