When Should I Be Concerned with Bleeding Gums

Patients may notice small amounts of blood in the sink as they are brushing their teeth. It is relatively common for patients to have gums which bleed. While it may be tempting to ignore, persistent gum bleeding can be a sign of an underlying issue which may require treatment. The following article will review some of the most common causes for bleeding gums.

Brushing Technique

When patients use vigorous, aggressive pressure when brushing, it can cause bleeding. The gum tissue is quite sensitive and using too much force while brushing can result in redness, irritation, or bleeding. It is important to use gentle, circular strokes when brushing to avoid damage.


Some toothbrushes contain firm bristles, which may be tempting. Patients may have the impression that the added firmness will clean the teeth more effectively. Firm toothbrushes can actually damage the tooth’s enamel and irritate the gums. Patients should use a soft or medium toothbrush.


The act of flossing can seem straightforward, but patients may be using the wrong technique. This can cause damage to the gums. Use of too much pressure when flossing can create small cuts in the gums. Over time, this can result in small receding gums. When flossing, patients should ensure they are using gentle pressure and follow the natural curve of the tooth. Floss should slowly glide up and down, and patients should not be forceful or aggressive.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is actually one of the most common causes for bleeding gums. When gum disease is left untreated, it can be very serious and even cause tooth loss. In order to treat the disease, a professional deep cleaning or additional treatment may be needed. In addition, the dentist may suggest more frequent visits to the dentist in order to properly manage the disease. Gum disease is one of the first things the dentist will look for when a patient experiences bleeding gums.

Gum disease is very prevalent in the U.S. as it impacts millions of people every year. The condition is progressive as early symptoms are quite mild and patients may not even know they have gum disease. Gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease which includes symptoms such as bad breath and bleeding gums. These early symptoms are easy to ignore. Patients often avoid contacting their dentist until the symptoms become worse and the condition becomes more severe.

Untreated gum disease can progress into periodontitis, the more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis negatively impacts a patient’s oral and general health. Issues commonly associated with periodontitis can include abscesses, bone loss, loose teeth, cardiovascular disease, infections, and tooth loss.


Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, bacteria-filled substance that is typically removed through regular brushing and flossing. It can collect on the teeth around the gumline and cause irritation to the gums. Over time, this causes the gums to become sore, swollen, and even bleed. If a patient notices their gums start to bleed, they should contact their dentist immediately. The dentist will evaluate the teeth and mouth in order to identify the underlying cause. Once the cause is determined, they will devise a treatment plan. The early detection of gum disease is crucial in preventing long-term damage and ensuring a successful outcome. In most cases, treatment includes improved oral hygiene practices, a professional cleaning, and more frequent visits to the dentist. Bleeding gums should be taken seriously as they can indicate an underlying issue that requires prompt treatment.

Why are my Gums Bleeding

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