Most everyone has experienced bleeding gums at one time or another. It usually means that you need to step up your dental hygiene routine and visit your dentist. If your bleeding gums persist despite improving your oral hygiene routine and getting professional teeth cleanings and checkups, your dentist may suspect that one of the following conditions is the culprit.
While scurvy is not as common as it once was, it still occurs. Scurvy refers to a severe vitamin C deficiency that can cause fatigue, excessive bruising, bone pain, and abnormal patterns of hair growth on your legs. These abnormal patterns cause your leg hairs to take on a corkscrew-type growth pattern. In addition to these signs and symptoms, scurvy can cause bleeding gums, and in extreme cases, oral hemorrhaging.
Scurvy is very treatable by simply eating more vitamin C-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. If your scurvy is severe, your physician may recommend taking a vitamin C supplement which may reverse your deficiency faster. After your vitamin C deficiency has been reversed, your gums may stop bleeding completely.
Your dentist may ask you if you take anticoagulant medications if your gums bleed profusely during your dental examination or cleanings. In addition to bleeding gums, anticoagulant medications can cause small purple dots to develop inside your mouth, especially on the insides of your cheeks. These dots are called petechiae and they are caused by subcutaneous bleeding, also known as bleeding under your skin.
Anticoagulants affect blood platelet function, which can cause abnormal bleeding, including excessive bleeding from your gums. If you take prescription anticoagulant drugs or if you take aspirin, let your dentist know. Also, never stop taking your prescribed anticoagulant medications unless your physician tells you to do so. If your doctor has prescribed anticoagulants because you are at risk of blood clots, strokes, or heart attacks, abruptly discontinuing the use of them may increase your risk for a neurological or cardiovascular health condition.
If your gums bleed despite a good routine of brushing and flossing, make an appointment with a dentist. If your dentist determines that your teeth and gums are healthy, they may refer you to your primary care doctor for a checkup and treatment. Once the underlying cause of your bleeding gums has been identified and treated, he or she will recommend the appropriate treatment.
Speak to a local dentist to learn more.