Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
(603) 742-5252
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Physicians
Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Health Library
Health Insurance Marketplace Assistance
Interpreter and Communication Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Records
Accountable Care Organization
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials
Food and Nutrition Services
Back to Health Library   Print This Page Print    Email to a Friend Email

Tooth anatomy
Tooth anatomy


Gingivitis
Gingivitis


Definition:

Bleeding gums can be a sign that you are at risk for, or already have, gum disease. However, persistent gum bleeding may be due to serious medical conditions such as leukemia and bleeding and platelet disorders.



Alternative Names:

Gums - bleeding



Considerations:

It is important to follow the instructions from your dentist in order to maintain healthy gums. Improper brushing and flossing technique may actually irritate or traumatize the gum tissue.



Common Causes:

Bleeding gums are mainly due to inadequate plaque removal from the teeth at the gum line. This will 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 tartar. Ultimately, this will lead to increased bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and jawbone disease known as periodontitis .

Other causes of bleeding gums include:



Home Care:

Visit the dentist at least once every 6 months for plaque removal. Follow your dentist's home care instructions.

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.

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.

Other tips:

  • 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.


Call your health care provider if:

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


What to expect at your health care provider's office:

Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums, and ask questions such as:

  • Are the gums bleeding a large amount?
  • Did the bleeding begin recently?
  • Do the gums bleed frequently or only occasionally?
  • Have you had gum problems before?
  • How often do you brush?
  • How often do you floss?
  • Do you use a soft- or hard-bristle toothbrush?
  • How vigorously do you brush?
  • What other home care aids do you use (toothpicks or other)?
  • When was the last time you had your teeth cleaned at the dentist?
  • Have you changed your diet?
  • Do you eat adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables?
  • Do you take supplemental vitamins?
  • Do you have a high carbohydrate diet (pasta)?
  • What medications do you take? Do you take seizures medicines, blood thinners (such as Coumadin, heparin), or aspirin?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • Have you changed mouthwash or toothpaste recently?
  • What other symptoms do you have? (for example, sore throat )

Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:




Review Date: 5/28/2008
Reviewed By: Jason S. Baker, DMD, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Private Practice, Yonkers, New York. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


Find What You Need

Events
Careers
Foundation
About Us
Contact
Directions
News
Social Media Agreement
Joint Notice
Web Privacy Policy
WDH Staff Portal

Centers & Services

Cancer Center
Cardiovascular Care
Joint Replacement
Women & Children's
Physician Offices
Other Services

Conditions & Treatments

Health Library

Support Services

Support Groups
Care-Van
Dental Center
Social Work
Food & Nutrition
Integrative Wellness
Spiritual Care
Concerns & Grievances
Homecare and Hospice

For Patients

Pay Your Bill Online
Pricing Estimates
Financial Assistance
Interpreter Services
Surgery Preparation
Medical Record Request
Advance Directives
Clinical Research & Trials

For Healthcare Professionals

Work and Life
Financial Well-Being
Career and Growth

The Wentworth-Douglass Health System includes:

 

Address

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100