5 Reasons Why Your Gums Are Bleeding

5 Reasons Why Your Gums Are Bleeding

Have you noticed that your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth? Do you want to know why this happens and how to stop it? The fact of the matter is that your gums can bleed for a variety of reasons and the only way to stop this problem is by determining what is causing your gums to bleed, then making the necessary adjustments. While you should visit your dentist for additional information, here are some of the most common reasons why gums bleed: 


Brushing or Flossing Too Hard

When it comes to cleaning your teeth, dental plaque is very soft and only requires minimal pressure while brushing for its removal. If your gums have been bleeding, one of the first things you should consider is how hard you brush. Besides bleeding gums, a common indication that you are brushing too hard is frayed toothbrush bristles. Your gums can also bleed if you floss more than once a day or if you snap the floss against your gums. 

Normal tooth vs periodontitis

Gum Disease

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that is another common cause of bleeding gums. It can develop when excess plaque collects along the gum line, causing the gum tissue to become infected and inflamed. When gum disease is to blame, you may also notice that your gums appear red and swollen, and they may be tender to the touch. Your dentist can help you develop a treatment plan for gum disease, but this generally consists of good oral hygiene. 


Changes in Oral Hygiene Habits

Sometimes, your gums can bleed when you make changes in your oral hygiene habits. A common example of this is when you forget to floss for a while, then start flossing again. Another example would be when breaking in a new toothbrush that may be slightly stiffer than your old toothbrush. In both cases, your gums should stop bleeding within a week once they have adapted to the new changes. 



Being pregnant comes with a variety of changes in the body brought on by hormonal fluctuations. While hormonal changes are an inevitable part of pregnancy, they also alter the way your body reacts to the bacteria responsible for gum disease. Simply stated, being pregnant increases a woman’s risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis, or a mild form of gum disease that affects pregnant women. In addition to bleeding gums, pregnancy gingivitis also causes the gums to be red, swollen, and tender. If you suspect pregnancy gingivitis, it is important to see your dentist for further instruction. 



Certain medications are designed to help a specific aspect of the body, however they may also cause side effects in other parts of the body. One of these common interactions occurs with blood thinners. Although blood thinners are a good way to thin the blood and decrease the blood’s ability to clot in order to treat heart disease, this also means that minor irritations can cause bleeding. Therefore, brushing and flossing the gums could be enough of an irritation that it causes the gums to bleed. 


Dr. Deborah TabbPatients at Bethesda Family Dentistry benefit from the knowledge and experience that only comes from a diverse team. From general dentistry to endodontic, periodontics, and cosmetic dental services, this Bethesda, MD clinic is ready to be the only source you need for all your oral health needs.
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