Why Do My Gums Bleed? 5 Causes & What to Do

Why Do My Gums Bleed? 5 Causes & What to Do

Do your gums ever bleed when you brush or floss? While it might seem like a minor annoyance, bleeding gums can be a warning sign of underlying oral health problems. If left untreated, the issue can worsen and lead to more serious conditions. Let’s explore the top five causes of bleeding gums and the most effective treatments to restore your gum health.

The Top Culprits Behind Bleeding Gums

  • Gingivitis: The most common cause, gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup along the gumline. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that, if not removed, hardens into tartar. This irritates the gums, causing redness, swelling, and bleeding. Luckily, early gingivitis is usually reversible with professional cleaning and improved oral hygiene.
  • Periodontitis: If gingivitis goes untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. In periodontitis, the infection spreads deeper into the gums and can damage the bone supporting your teeth. Symptoms may include receding gums, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. Prompt treatment from a dentist is crucial to prevent further damage.
  • Brushing Habits: Believe it or not, how you brush your teeth matters! Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can irritate and damage your gums. Always use a soft-bristled brush and gentle circular motions to clean your teeth effectively without harming your gums.
  • Underlying Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions can increase your risk of bleeding gums. These include diabetes, hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause, and blood disorders. Additionally, some medications, such as blood thinners, can also make your gums more prone to bleeding.
  • Vitamin Deficiencies: Your diet plays a role in gum health too. Vitamin C is essential for healthy gums and a deficiency can lead to scurvy, a condition characterized by bleeding gums. Vitamin K, important for blood clotting, can also contribute to bleeding gums if your intake is low.

Effective Treatments to Stop the Bleeding

  • Professional Dental Cleaning: A thorough cleaning from a dental hygienist is the first step to remove plaque and tartar buildup. This may involve scaling (removing tartar from above and below the gumline) and root planing (smoothing the root surfaces).
  • Improved Oral Hygiene: Consistent brushing and flossing are crucial to prevent plaque buildup. Your dentist or hygienist can teach you proper techniques to ensure you’re cleaning your teeth effectively.
  • Antiseptic Mouthwash: An antiseptic mouthwash can help reduce bacteria and inflammation in your gums. Use it as directed by your dentist or the instructions on the product.
  • Dietary Changes: Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and vitamin K in your diet. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens, while vitamin K is found in leafy greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Medications: In some cases, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help control the infection and reduce inflammation.

Don’t Ignore Bleeding Gums

If your gums bleed regularly, even with gentle brushing and flossing, don’t hesitate to see a dentist. Ignoring the issue can lead to more serious problems down the line.

Contact Us

If you’re experiencing bleeding gums or have concerns about your oral health, the team at Dentists At Metrotown is here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation.