Bleeding Gums Treatment Arlington Heights, IL

Bleeding gums is often an early sign of gum disease, evidence that the gum tissue has become infected and irritated by harmful bacteria. Left untreated, gum disease will continue to advance and can cause permanent damage to the teeth and gums. Gum disease affects 75% of the adult population and remains the leading cause of tooth loss.

Arlington Heights dentist Dr. Brent Engelberg provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for gum disease to restore your oral health. Maintaining healthy gums is an important part of preventive dental care at Arlington Heights Smiles and our experienced dentists and staff monitor the gum health of their patients as part of routine dental exams.

Signs of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease has two stages, but most patients are not aware of its presence until the second stage when complex dental health concerns begin to surface. Understanding the common signs of gum disease can play an important role in early detection and effective treatment, reducing the need for extensive dentistry to repair damaged teeth and gums.

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Changes in the fit of dental appliances
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Sensitive gums
  • Shifting teeth

Treatment For Bleeding Gums in Arlington Heights

Routine dental care provides the opportunity to spot gum disease in the early stages and provide conservative, effective treatment. Treatment options can include:

  • Dental cleanings: for very mild gingivitis, a thorough dental cleaning may be effective. In some cases, Dr. Engelberg may recommend an additional annual dental cleaning for patients with recurring gum disease.
  • Scaling and root planing: this intensive cleaning will remove the plaque built up along the gum line and in pockets of the gums to allow the affected areas to heal.
  • Gum surgery: in more advanced cases of gum disease, known as periodontitis, Dr. Engelberg may recommend soft tissue surgery to remove diseased tissue and restore dental health. If necessary, they will coordinate care with a local periodontist for the best result.

The Stages of Gum Disease

There are four different stages of gum disease. Bleeding gums are one of the most prominent symptoms of gum disease. If you notice your gums bleeding regularly, immediately bring it to our attention.


This is the first stage of gum disease and the only one that’s reversible. When you don’t brush and floss your teeth, bacteria, and debris build up in your mouth. They form a sticky film on your teeth called plaque. When you continue to not properly care for your oral health, plaque hardens and becomes a stronger layer called tartar. This buildup at the gum line irritates the gum tissue, causing inflammation.

Many adults in the United States have gingivitis and may not even realize it. The symptoms for it aren’t particularly painful. The most noticeable one is usually bleeding gums, particularly if it’s happening regularly. Diligent oral healthcare can usually reverse the condition at this stage. We may have you come in for extra cleanings or prescribe you an antibacterial rinse to ensure the condition is handled.

Mild Periodontal Disease

At this stage, the condition can no longer be reversed. The bacteria become more aggressive and start to attack the jawbone, contributing to bone loss. We use scaling and root planing to manage the condition. You develop gum pockets between the tissue and bone that fill with debris and bacteria. We clean out those gum pockets and smooth down any rough tooth roots so that the gum tissue can reattach to the bone properly.

Moderate Periodontal Disease

The bacteria continue to get more aggressive in this stage. Not only are they attacking your bone, but they’re getting into your bloodstream as well. Your blood can carry the infection and inflammation around to other parts of your body. Gum disease doesn’t just impact your mouth. Scaling and root planing are used at this stage as well.

Severe Periodontal Disease

At this stage, the infection has completely taken over. Your gums are swollen and ooze pus. You experience severe bad breath, and it’s painful to chew or bite your food. Because their foundation is eating away, your teeth start to loosen and are at risk of falling out. Periodontal surgery or laser gum treatment are the only options to take care of it at this stage.

Bleeding Gums FAQs

Bleeding gums can lead to serious issues with your oral health. Learn more by reading the answers to these commonly asked questions.

What can be the cause of  bleeding gums?

Bleeding gums can be caused by a variety of health issues including plaque buildup, heart disease, diabetes, brushing too hard, and gingivitis. It can also signify a vitamin deficiency. This is also a sign of a vitamin C and vitamin K deficiency. Another cause of bleeding gums in women may be pregnancy, or hormonal changes.

Can a nutrient deficiency be the cause of bleeding gums?

A vitamin deficiency can be the cause of your issue with bleeding or sensitive gums. Having low levels of vitamin C is the main vitamin that contributes to this. Vitamin K deficiency also contributes to gums bleeding. Taking external supplemental vitamins, or eating foods high in vitamins may help if you are experiencing bleeding gums.

What does it mean if my gums are bleeding often?

Bleeding gums are often a direct result of built up plaque in the gums. Plaque has tons of germs and unhealthy bacteria that attack the healthy soft tissue that is in the gums. When gums have plaque in them, they are being attacked and become red and inflamed which may cause them to bleed. Bleeding is common when brushing and flossing, but if it is excessive ask your dentist for a gum evaluation.

Is it okay for my gums to bleed while flossing?

No, if your gums bleed while you are flossing then you are not properly caring for your oral health. Bleeding gums while flossing or brushing is caused by built up plaque around the gums and poor care for your teeth and gums. If your gums are bleeding, it means that they are irritated and attempting to defend themselves from outside germs.

How long does it take to heal bleeding gums?

If you have gingivitis and your gums bleed when you brush, your gums should stop bleeding within a week. However, you must floss before brushing and brush for two minutes twice a day. If you have additional symptoms, including gum recession, chronic gum pain, or gum sensitive, you may have gum disease. It will take longer to address bleeding gums after gum disease treatment. 

Can antibiotics help bleeding gums?

We may recommend antibiotics if you have bleeding gums. Dentists typically place antibiotics into gum pockets after cleaning. However, you also need to improve your oral hygiene routine and visit the dentist for care to treat your bleeding gums.

Schedule an Appointment

If you’re noticing that your gums are bleeding regularly, contact our office to be seen. Call our office or schedule an appointment online.