Oral Health: Don't Ignore Your GumsOral Health: Don't Ignore Your Gums

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Oral Health: Don't Ignore Your Gums

When you go to your dentist, you are likely concerned about cavities and the stains on your teeth. If you are like me, then you probably never thought much about your gums. Unfortunately, this caused me to form a serious gum recession condition. My dentist said that hard brushing practices, poor flossing techniques, and even the consumption of sugary foods led to the recession. After some deep scaling treatments, I was informed that I needed a gum graft procedure. The gums are extremely important to your health. They provide your teeth with the nutrients they need and they protect the sensitive dental roots. The gums even keep bacteria away from your jaw bone. Don't ignore your gums like I did. Read my blog and learn about proper oral care techniques. Prevention practices can easily save your gums from necessary restoration.

3 Reasons For Prolonged Oral Bleeding

While mild to moderate gingival bleeding is not uncommon when you brush or floss your teeth, prolonged bleeding, or bleeding profusely from the gum tissue, is not normal. If your gums start bleeding profusely, especially when you are not brushing or flossing, visit a dental clinic. You will need the expertise of an emergency dentist who will determine the source of your bleeding and recommend an effective treatment plan. Here are three reasons for prolonged oral bleeding and what you can do about them.

1. Anticoagulants

Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, are medications that your doctor may prescribe to reduce your risk for heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots. While prescription anticoagulants are often prescribed after a heart attack or stroke, daily aspirin may also be recommended for high-risk individuals.

Because aspirin and other anticoagulants decrease platelet aggregation, abnormal bleeding can occur. Bleeding from anticoagulants can originate in the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, inside the nose, and in the mouth. If you take anticoagulants and develop oral bleeding, talk to your physician about lowering the dosage, if possible. Then, keep regular appointments with your dentist, who will monitor the condition of your gum tissue.

2. Scurvy

If your diet is deficient in vitamin C, or if you drink too much coffee or take certain medications, you may have a vitamin C deficiency. If your deficiency is severe, it may be classified as scurvy. While not common anymore, people still can get this nutritional deficiency, and one of the main symptoms is oral hemorrhage.

If you develop spontaneous bleeding from the gums, along with muscle pain and fatigue, you may have scurvy, or at least a mild vitamin C deficiency. Fortunately, scurvy is very treatable, however, your physician will need to order a vitamin C blood test to check your levels. Simply eating an orange or two a day will help raise your vitamin C levels and will help improve the condition of your gums. 

3. Thrombocytopenia

Thrombocytopenia is a blood disorder that refers to a low thrombocyte, or platelet count. When your platelet count is too low, you may be at risk for bleeding and clotting problems. In addition to oral bleeding, thrombocytopenia can cause extensive bruising, nosebleeds, fatigue, heavy menstrual periods, and anemia.

If your gums bleed profusely, especially if accompanied by one or more of the aforementioned symptoms of low platelets, see your physician for a complete blood count, or CBC. In the meantime, visit your dentist, who will closely monitor your oral status for signs of gum inflammation, infection, and further bleeding.

If you develop severe oral bleeding, see both your dentist and physician. When you work with both of these health professionals, a comprehensive plan of care can be developed so that your overall and oral health can be well-managed.