There are many causes of bleeding gums. Most of these can easily be fixed, but some can also be a sign of more serious oral issues needing to be addressed.
Many people get nervous when they see blood of any kind, but it's pretty common for gums to bleed. However, that does not mean it's a good thing.
The most common reason for bleeding gums is due to 'gingivitis' which is a mild infection of the gumline where buildup of plaque is at its earliest stage. Your gums become swollen, tender, and can bleed during brushing or flossing. We see this quite often, and in simple terms, it tells us that these areas need to be cleaned better. Brushing and flossing thoroughly and consistently usually resolves this. Regular exams allow us to help you in identifying these areas and we can give you tips on how to improve what you’re doing at home! During regular cleanings, we can then remove anything you are missing at home allowing your gums to remain healthy and happy!
The next thing we see is periodontal disease, which is a chronic infection in the gums due to years of infection and inflammation near the gums resulting in bone loss around the teeth. These patients will always need to keep up with their cleanings and most tend to visit every 3 months to stay on top of the disease. If it's been years for these patients since the last cleaning, their gums will likely bleed after removing the tartar from their teeth, but they will be on their way to becoming healthier!
For a lot of dental treatment we are able to send you home knowing that you won't have any bleeding. However, for some procedures like removing a tooth, there will definitely be bleeding. Oozing or bleeding can last up to 48 hours after treatment and is normal. Use gauze as directed. Alternatively, a home remedy is placing a tea bag on the area to help it clot.
Another reason gums bleed after dental work could be that the tooth being treated was near the gums. When this happens it heals pretty quickly due to the nature of the gum tissue.
When you need dental treatment, we go over the "post-op expectations" with you so that you are prepared. We also remind you that when we have to numb your mouth for your dental treatment, it is vital not to put your hands in your mouth or eat/drink until your mouth “wakes up.” If you don't wait, you could accidentally harm your gums, cheeks, or tongue, as you cannot feel them. This could also cause unexpected bleeding.