When you get your dental cleanings, you are probably well aware of the sensation of dental probing. While checking your teeth with the dental probe is a necessary component of your dental examination, it may cause slight discomfort and even bleeding. If your gun bleed more than usual during your dental cleanings, there may be an underlying cause. Here are three reasons for bleeding upon probing, and what you can do about them:
Prescription anticoagulants, as well as regular aspirin, can lead to oral bleeding during your dental exam. Anticoagulants are medications that thin the blood, and are often prescribed for those who are at high risk for heart attack, stroke, and blood clot formation.
While aspirin doesn't work in the same way as anticoagulants do, they can lead to abnormal bleeding, including bleeding of the gums. Aspirin does not thin your blood, per se, but it does decrease platelet aggregation. This means that it takes your blood longer to clot because it makes your platelets less sticky.
If you take anticoagulant medications or aspirin, tell your dentist. If you experience heavy oral bleeding, or if bleeding doesn't stop during a dental cleaning, see your physician. You may need blood tests to evaluate your platelet count, and in addition to this, your doctor may want to lower your anticoagulant dosage.
As you get closer to menopause, your estrogen levels decline. Estrogen is thought to play an important role in healthy bones, teeth, and gums. When your body doesn't produce as much estrogen as it did during your pre-menopausal years, you may develop gum disease and subsequent bleeding.
While your gums may only bleed during brushing, flossing, and dental probing, they may start bleeding out of nowhere. To keep your teeth and gums healthy during your menopausal years, talk to your physician about estrogen replacement therapy,
This will help keep your mouth healthy, however, supplemental hormonal treatment may be contraindicated in women with personal or family histories of gynecological cancers. These cancers are commonly fueled by estrogen, so for these women, lower estrogen levels may be safer for their general health.
Certain autoimmune disorders can lead to salivary gland dysfunction. Saliva is important to oral health because it helps wash away gingivitis-causing bacteria. When your mouth is too dry, microorganisms can quickly buildup inside your oral cavity, leading to inflamed, infected, or bleeding gums.
If you have an autoimmune disorder and subsequent dry mouth, your dentist can recommend a mouthwash that will help restore oral moisture. In the meantime, drink plenty of water, and try to avoid caffeinated beverages, which can further dry out your oral tissues.
If you experience bleeding during your dental cleanings, work with both your dentist and physician to develop an effective plan of care. Working with both disciplines will help ensure that the cause of your bleeding is properly diagnosed and that you are receiving the most appropriate treatment. Contact a clinic, like Pinon Hills Dental, for more information.