Bleeding Gums: Learn the Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

It’s natural to worry if your child spits blood while brushing. If your child has bleeding gums, it’s essential you take him or her to see a dentist as soon as possible. The most common cause of bleeding gums is gum disease (gingivitis). Gingivitis is a time-sensitive disease that is best treated early.

What is the Cause of Bleeding Gums?

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can progress to periodontitis, a severe type of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss.

Gingivitis starts with plaque-forming bacteria in the mouth. In the absence of proper dental hygiene, plaque can harden into tartar. Tartar buildup leads to gingivitis.

The best way to protect against gingivitis is to develop and maintain healthy habits, like regular brushing and flossing, and routine check-ups with a dentist.
Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums that are swollen and red
  • Bad breath
  • Pain while chewing
  • Teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

Treatment for Bleeding Gums Caused by Gingivitis

The most effective treatment for gum disease is a procedure called scaling and root planing. During scaling and planing, the dentist scales the plaque, harmful bacteria, and tartar above and below the gumline. Once they’ve scaled the teeth and root surfaces, the dentist planes the root so that it’s too smooth for tartar, bacteria, and plaque to re-adhere, allowing the gums plenty of time to reattach.

In some cases, the dentist will require a follow-up to check on healing. Severe cases may demand more than one round of treatment. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, “The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease.”

Gingivitis treatment is no substitute for healthy hygiene habits. Good daily hygiene is essential in preventing gingivitis from getting worse or coming back after treatment. Your dentist may recommend routine maintenance visits to supplement your at-home oral care habits.

dentist smiling with boy in shades

Why Choose a Kool Smiles Partner Dentist?

Gum disease is a condition that, if left untreated, only gets worse with time. Don’t wait it out. If your child is experiencing any symptoms that could indicate gingivitis, schedule an appointment with a Kool Smiles Kids Club partner dentists.

What makes Kool Smiles’ partner dentists great?

  • Our partner dentists accept Medicaid, TRICARE, CHIP (formerly SCHIP), and most major private insurance plans.
  • Our partner clinics are welcoming and kid-friendly.
  • Kool Smiles Kids Club has partner dentists who are open on weekends to accommodate busy families.
  • Our partners know that kids often require a little extra reassurance, and they go above and beyond to make each child’s experience pleasant.
  • Kool Smiles’ partner teams know that healthy habits start at home. Your appointment with a Kool Smiles partner dentist is a learning experience – they’ll offer insider tips to keep your child’s teeth in tip-top shape between visits.