What Can Blood Thinners mean for Your Gums?

When we think about bleeding gums, we tend to focus mainly on gum disease and tarter buildup. There is another common reason for bleeding gums that often goes overlooked, and discussing the issue when you visit your Walnut Creek dental office can significantly reduce the risk for complications during your appointments.

Millions of dental patients experience bleeding gums due to the use of prescription blood thinners and daily, low-dose aspirin regimens. These medications are typically recommended by physicians to reduce the risk for blood clots and other cardiovascular problems. Blood thinners can provide life-saving benefits that may be necessary for a brief period of time or for the rest of your life. Therefore, it may be necessary to manage side-effects such as the tendency to bleed easily rather than stop taking the medication altogether.

Inform your dentist and hygienist about your blood thinner regimen prior to your dental appointment. Some dental procedures such as periodontal therapy or a tooth extraction can cause significant and prolonged bleeding for patients who are taking blood thinners. You should also contact your physician to find out if your medications can be adjusted or stopped a few days before your dental appointment. This decision should never be made without consulting your physician, and you will also be advised as to when you should resume your medications. For your health and safety, good communication between your dentist, your physician, and yourself is essential.

Your risk for easy bleeding extends beyond the dental office. Patients who take blood thinners should also be aware of their bleeding risks during flossing, shaving, and tooth brushing. Use a soft toothbrush and floss gently to thoroughly remove plaque without traumatizing your gum tissue. Also, remember to use a mouth guard during athletic activities since you are more vulnerable to bleeding due to a mouth injury.

To learn more about the dental implications regarding the use of blood thinners, contact your dentist in Walnut Creek today.