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.
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.
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.
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.