Most adults have episodes of bleeding gums from time to time. While the most common reason for bleeding gums is gingivitis or periodontal disease, other things can lead to gingival bleeding. If you practice good oral hygiene and still experience bleeding gums, make a dental appointment. Here are some ways your dentist can uncover the source of your bleeding gums quickly so that they can recommend an effective treatment plan for you.
Dental And Medical History
To differentiate between gum disease and other causes as the source of your bleeding gums, your dentist may take a detailed dental and medical history from you. They may inquire about your use of dietary supplements and medications such as fish oil supplements, garlic supplements, prescription anticoagulant medications, and aspirin. All of these substances can interfere with your blood platelet function and can cause abnormal bleeding inside your oral cavity.
If your gums are bleeding as a result of your supplement or medication intake, your dentist may refer you to your primary care physician who may lower your medication or supplement dosage. If lowering your dosage is ineffective, further testing may be recommended. Your dentist may also ask you if you have any health conditions such as anemia or liver disease, or if you have had a recent bacterial or viral infection because these conditions can also lead to bleeding gums.
Another way your dentist can determine if your bleeding gums are simply the result of poor oral hygiene is to perform a comprehensive oral examination. They will examine your gum tissue for signs of inflammation, receding gums, drainage, or excessive calculus buildup under your gumline and on your teeth. If these conditions are present during your examination, your dental professional may assume that your bleeding gums are the result of gum disease.
If you do not have any signs or symptoms of gum disease but if your gums are pale, or if you have tiny purple dots on your oral mucosa, then your dentist may ask that you see your primary care doctor for further evaluation. These oral signs may point to a condition other than simple gingivitis as the cause of your bleeding gums.
If you have bleeding gums despite a strict regimen of brushing and flossing, make an appointment with your dentist. Once the cause of your bleeding gums has been identified, an effective plan of care can be implemented.