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Sensitive, inflamed, and bleeding gums NOT from plaque

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Does anyone have gums that get inflamed and bleed easily, that's not related to poor dental hygiene and plaque buildup? For the past few years my gums bleed very easily when flossing, sometimes when brushing. Occasionally I get sensitive areas on them that go away after a few days. I feel the symptoms may be hormone related, as there are certain times in my cycle that my gums are more symptomatic than others. I've tried looking it up on the computer but I mostly find information about gingivitis/bleeding gums due to plaque/poor hygiene.

 

I brush twice a day and floss every night. My gums usually bleed at least a little each night when I floss, sometimes more. Also they ache after I floss, again some times worse than others. My dentists always comment on how much my gums bleed during regular dental visits, but say my teeth are in very good condition and there's no plaque buildup. The dental practice I go to is large, with several dentists, and I'm usually not with the same hygenist/dentist each time I go, so each time I get some different advice. One suggested I switch to an electric toothbrush, which I did about a year ago. It did help a lot but didn't resolve the issue. This last visit a different dentist prescribed a "magic mouthwash" for me to try, but I never got it filled because I was a bit wary of the ingredients. I've used the same toothpaste for several years (Trader Joe's brand), because as a teen and young adult, using commercial brands of toothpaste would cause my gums to slough off! Literally I would run my finger over my gums after brushing and pull a slimy layer of my gums off. I'm in the process of trying some natural mouthwash from the HFS (I can't remember the name, something like Dentist's Choice?) that says it's for bleeding gums. In the past I've avoided most commercial mouthwashes due to them inflaming my gums. I've tried making my own mouth rinses with salt water, and with hydrogen peroxide, and both of those really get my mouth inflamed.

 

What else could be causing this, and what else can I try to treat it? What I really want to do is find the cause of the problem instead of just trying to treat the symptoms. I appreciate any suggestions or advice. Thanks!

post #2 of 8
I have similar sensitivities, though my gums are very healthy and don't bleed when I floss regularly. They do peel when exposed to just about anything, though!

I think less is more. If you don't need it, then get rid of all of the mouthwashes, whitening products, etc. Make sure you're not brushing too long or too hard.

My dentist also told me it could be a vitamin deficiency. Make sure your Vit. D intake is adequate (followed by C, K, and I think B12?).
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply. I'm already using a mild toothpaste, and have never tried whitening products. When I used to use a regular toothbrush I had to use an extra soft one, and the electric one I use now is fairly gentle. I don't really think it's anything I'm using in my mouth that's causing the issues. I've had my Vit D levels checked twice in the past (both times were low), so I supplement  now with 4000IU daily (well, most days). I think my last level was 26, and that was in May. I'll get it checked again next spring to see how it compares. I eat a healthy diet--I'm TF lacto-ovo veg , with heavy emphasis on whole, homemade, and local foods--lots of fruits/veggies, local eggs, raw milk, nuts/seeds, etc. I do remember in the past one hygienist recommended increasing my Vitamin C...I already get quite a bit of C in my diet from food but did increase it for a month or so and noted no change in symptoms. Maybe I didn't try it long enough?? I'll look into the other vitamins as well to see what's recommended. Thanks again.

 

Any other thoughts? :)

post #4 of 8

I would recommend trying a few different dentists until you get answers. I had a lot of gum/ teeth problems in my past and I learned this- there are very many different degrees of knowledge that dentists have. I saw many dentists who gave me bad advice and actually idd bad procedures- until I learned that it is worth it to get 2nd 3rd 4th opionion etcetera.  Have you seen a periodontist? they specialize in gum issues.

post #5 of 8

This was happening to a coworker and I.. and we both tested super low for B12. After supplementing it went away for both of us.. so you might want to have that tested.. or spend $20 on a supplement and test it for a few months. Can't hurt to try!

post #6 of 8
Have you ever been checked for a bleeding/clotting disorder? You said it seems hormonal, so I wanted to respond.

I have a mild clotting disorder (von Willebrand's) that is only apparent during the first half of my monthly cycle, and then only maybe one or two cycles a year. This can affect bleeding in the gums too. My body particularly likes to bleed in the nose and mouth area. Von Willebrand's is definitely affected by the hormones - low estrogen particularly can trigger clotting problems.

Anyway, you have to be seen by a hematologist and have them do a bunch of tests to check. And even then they may not catch it. It took the hematologist two rounds of testing to find mine, and even then I was lucky they did find it. When I found out, it was important because I was undergoing scheduled surgery and the surgeon really needed to know if there was going to be a clotting problem.

Some things you can do to avoid aggravating the condition is to be aware of any supplements or medicines that can make bleeding worse. These are things like aspirin and NSAIDS, fish oil (anything with EPA in it), vitamin E, various herbs (check herbal references, they will tell you). Too much vitamin A can also cause problems. Things that can help are vitamin K supplements and leafy greens.

If you're not having any other symptoms of clotting problems (easy or unexplained bruising, nosebleeds, cuts not clotting in a reasonable time, or a history of excessive bleeding during surgery) then you probably have some kind of a mild condition. But if you have any of those symptoms, then I'd recommend you get yourself tested so you don't have a bleeding emergency.
post #7 of 8

Are you a mouth breather?  I have this problem as well, but I am a mouth breather, and my dentists have always told me that is what caused it.  I have had some dentists tell me that if I do use mouthwash, to dilute with half water, that worked pretty well, as does the Lysterine, non alcohol mouthwash.

post #8 of 8

I know it´s an old tread, but if anyone with similar problems read it.. I had the same problem, and have had  it my whole life. Dentists have always been nagging about my bleeding gum.. And no matter how much I flossed or brushed it would still bleed. Until I quit all grains and casein, 2 days after it stopped and haven´t come back since (gluten 6mon ago I guess, and the rest is about 3months now).


Edited by darlinglou - 10/9/13 at 1:29pm
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