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Why Do My Gums Bleed?

gums bleed

If you have bleeding gums, it's generally because of plaque accumulating at the gumline. Plaque contains harmful bacteria that attack the healthy tissue around your teeth. When plaque builds up, the gums become inflamed and irritated. This ultimately can cause them to bleed and lead to a type of periodontal disease known as gingivitis. At our office, we can provide periodontal cleanings that treat the first stage of gum disease effectively. Our experienced team is here to take care of your oral health care needs and answer all of your questions about gum disease.

Several different things could lead to your bleeding gums. The most common causes of bleeding gums are gingivitis and periodontitis. Some vitamin deficiencies have also been linked to bleeding gums. Those who wear dentures may experience bleeding when their dentures fit too tightly. If this is the case, visit your dentist for a proper adjustment.

Also, gum disease has been associated with certain other health issues, such as type 1 and type 2 diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disorders, and cancer. This is why it’s important to never ignore your bleeding gums. Periodontitis is linked to many serious health concerns, such as the increased risk of heart disease and stroke and an increased chance of complications while pregnant. This makes it that much more vital to treat the cause of the bleeding as soon as possible before it evolves into more serious health issues.

Patients may be more at risk for suffering from gum disease if various personal or environmental factors are concerned:

  1. Age: The likelihood of getting gum disease increases with age.
  2. Stress: Stress is linked to periodontal disease as it makes it more difficult for the body to fight off infection.
  3. Genetics: Some people are just naturally predisposed to develop gum disease.
  4. Smoking: Smokers have nearly twice the risk of getting gum disease compared to non-smokers.
  5. Poor oral hygiene: When you do not follow a proper and thorough at-home oral hygiene routine, you’re more likely to develop plaque buildup that can lead to gum disease.

Commonly not a cause of pain for individuals, gingivitis is a less-serious kind of periodontal disease. In this phase, bleeding gums may be your only symptom. Some other signs of gingivitis may include:

  • Swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Change in bite

Gingivitis is quite simple to deal with and can be resolved with a deep cleaning of your teeth at our office. However, when left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis and eventually lead to the loss of teeth.

Without regular cleanings, plaque buildup will result in the gums separating from the enamel and, in more serious instances, gum recession. Once this gum erosion occurs, pockets can form between the teeth and the gums. Harmful bacteria can get trapped inside these pockets, which attacks the gums and bone that support the teeth. This can lead to tooth and bone loss. Painful abscesses and drifting of the teeth can also occur.

At our office, we do deep periodontal cleanings, referred to as SRP, or scaling and root planing, for those experiencing bleeding gum tissue and periodontal disease. If you observe signs of gum disease, you need to have your gums evaluated by our knowledgeable staff. Treating gum disease may require multiple visits in order to avoid more invasive procedures later. Scaling and root planing are treatments performed to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup under the gumline. During a deep periodontal cleaning, our dentist uses a scaler to get rid of this buildup. Next, we smooth the tooth to eliminate any crevices where bacteria can hide and cause an infection. This treatment option is recommended for those with gum pockets that are deeper than 3 millimeters. This nonsurgical gum disease treatment can improve bleeding gums and prevent other dental problems such as tooth loss.

Our team is happy to offer the most efficient care approaches for your bleeding, tender, and red gum tissues. We strive to treat the early stages of gum disease to help our patients avoid more advanced stages that require more extensive procedures. Our professional team can provide a thorough dental examination to determine whether or not you have gum disease and if so, what stage. From there, we can correct gingivitis using scaling and root planing in addition to periodontal cleanings. To schedule an appointment to address your bleeding gums, call our local office today.


Once you see that your gums are red, inflamed, or bleeding, you should see a dentist. Here are some tips on how to prevent bleeding gums:

  • Follow a regular oral hygiene routine. Brushing twice daily and flossing at least once a day ensures that there is no plaque buildup that can lead to gingivitis.

  • Use a fluoride mouth rinse. Use a fluoridated mouthwash after you brush your teeth to prevent cavities and gum disease.

  • Maintain a regular dental cleaning and exam schedule. Preventive dentistry focuses on ensuring that oral health remains at its best. Bi-annual dental cleanings and annual dental exams detect dental problems before they become painful or more advanced, which can lead to the need for more costly or extensive treatments.

  • Stop smoking. Smoking makes it harder for your body to fight off plaque, which leads to gum disease. Quitting smoking can help to heal your gums and stop bleeding.

  • Eat more vitamin C rich food. A vitamin C deficiency can lead to gum bleeding. Eat more foods such as carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes, or red peppers, which help strengthen the immune system and fight off gum infections that lead to bleeding gums.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.