Bleeding gums can be caused by aggressive flossing and even dental cleanings that require extensive tartar removal. Gingivitis can also cause bleeding gums, however, it is typically accompanied by swollen, irritated, and red gums. While aggressive flossing and hard tartar removal are some of the most common causes of gingival bleeding, there are other causes that are unrelated to gum disease. Here are some causes of bleeding gums in the absence of periodontal disease and what you can do about them:
If your doctor has prescribed anticoagulant medications to lower your risk for heart attack or stroke, you may be at an increased risk for bleeding gums. When you take anticoagulants, it will take your blood longer to clot.
While this is the desired effect for those at high risk for cardiovascular disease, strokes, or blood clots, it may cause abnormal bleeding, which may include nosebleeds, blood in the urine or stool, excessive bruising, or bleeding gums.
While bleeding gums are often seen in people taking prescription anticoagulant medication, they are also very common in people who regularly take aspirin. If you take anticoagulants or aspirin and experience bleeding gums, talk to your physician. He or she may lower the dosage or prescribe a different medication that is less likely to cause bleeding during your professional dental cleanings.
Low Platelet Count
Another cause of bleeding gums that is not related to gingivitis includes a low platelet count. Otherwise known as thrombocytopenia, a low platelet count means that your blood may not clot effectively. This can cause oral hemorrhage and other types of abnormal bleeding.
If interventions are not implemented to quickly stop the bleeding, you may develop anemia. If you experience abnormal or prolonged bleeding make an appointment with your physician. He or she will order a complete blood count to see if your platelet levels are abnormally low. If so, you may need to take steroid medications that will help raise your platelet levels. Also, let your dentist or hygienist know that you have thrombocytopenia so that when he or she proceeds with your cleaning, extra care and monitoring will be taken to help prevent an oral bleeding episode.
If your gums bleed easily, see both your dentist and primary physician. The sooner the cause of your bleeding gums is recognized and treated, the less likely you will be to experience oral hemorrhage or other types of abnormal bleeding and anemia.