Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Bleeding gums


Bleeding gums

Causes

The most common cause of bleeding gums is mainly due to inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at the gum line. This  lead to a condition called gingivitis, or inflamed gums.
If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and dental appointments, it will harden into what is known as calculus or tartar. Ultimately, this will lead to increased bleeding and a more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis.
Other causes of bleeding gums include:
  • Any bleeding disorder
  • Brushing too hard
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy & puberty
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Improper flossing
  • Infection, which can be either tooth- or gum-related
  • use of aspirin and anticoagulants(blood thinners) such as warfarin and heparin
  • diabetes mellitus
  • Leukemia
  • Scurvy
  • Vitamin K deficiency

Diagnosis


An examination by the dentist should be sufficient to rule out the issues such as malnutrition and puberty. Additional corresponding diagnosis tests to certain potential disease may be required. This includes oral glucose tolerance test for diabetes mellitus, blood studies, human gonadotrophin levels for pregnancy, and X-rays for teeth and jaw bones.
In order to determine the periodontal health of a patient, the dentist records the sulcular depths of the gingiva and observes any bleeding on probing. This is often accomplished with the use of a periodontal probe. Alternatively, dental floss may also be used to assess the Gingival bleeding index. It is used as an initial evaluation on patient's periodontal health especially to measure gingivitis. The number of bleeding sites is used to calculate the gingival bleeding score.

Treatment

  • early stages of gingivitis can be treated by maintaining oral hygiene
  • periodontitis can be treated with scaling followed my medications. gum pains & mouth washes
  • scurvy can be treated with vitamin c supplements
  • Avoid the use of tobacco, which aggravates bleeding gums.
  • Control gum bleeding by applying pressure directly on the gums with a gauze pad soaked in ice water.
  • If you have been diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency, take recommended vitamin supplements.
  • Avoid aspirin unless your health care provider has recommended that you take it.
  • If side effects of medication are irritating, ask your doctor to recommend another medication. Never change your medication without consulting your doctor.
  • Use an oral irrigation device on the low setting to massage the gums.
  • See your dentist if your dentures do not fit correctly or if they are causing sore spots in your gums.
  • maintain adequate oral hygiene .You should brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush after every meal. The dentist may recommend rinsing with salt water or hydrogen peroxide and water. Avoid using commercial, alcohol-containing mouthwashes, which aggravate the problem.
  •  Short-bristle toothbrush is recommended for brushing your teeth. Hard-bristled toothbrushes may be softened by leaving under hot running water (very hot) before brushing every time, followed by gentle brushing
  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Be cautious about extremely hot or cold foods and beverages
  • Relax
Home Care
Visit the dentist at least once every 6 months for plaque removal. Follow your dentist's home care instructions.
Flossing teeth twice a day can prevent plaque from building up. Avoiding snacking between meals and reducing carbohydrates can also help. Follow a balanced, healthy diet.

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Consult your health care provider if:
    • The bleeding is severe or long term (chronic)
    • Your gums continue to bleed even after treatment
    • You have other unexplained symptoms with the bleeding
                                                                           
                                                        

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