Bleeding Gums: Causes and Symptoms

You may be brushing or flossing one day and notice a little pink on your toothbrush or floss or in the sink. It might cause you to wonder why this is happening and what has caused bleeding gums. Knowing the causes and symptoms of bleeding gums will help you learn more about bleeding gums in general and bleeding gums treatment options.

Bleeding of the gums is sometimes referred to as gingival bleeding, and it may occur during brushing or flossing. Certain dental conditions cause bleeding gums and make them more sensitive and prone to bleeding. The truth is that some causes are more serious than others and some warrant a trip to your dentist while others can be managed by you at home.


First, you should know that bleeding gums is not routine or normal and should always be cause for concern. If left unchecked, it may be hazardous to your mouth and dental health. The only time it’s considered normal and usual is if you’ve started a new flossing or brushing routine, but it should only go on for about a week or so. One cause may be due to the early onset of Gingivitis. Take note if your gums bleed after daily flossing and report it to your dentist. If left untreated, Gingivitis can develop into more pronounced problems such as periodontitis (inflammation around the tooth) and advanced periodontitis. Additional causes of bleeding gums are as follows:

  • Brushing too hard or your toothbrush isn’t soft enough
  • New flossing routine
  • Taking certain medications
  • Have inflamed gums because you’re pregnant (Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause the gums to be more sensitive.)
  • Have dentures that don’t fit well
  • Inadequate plaque removal
  • Bleeding or swollen gums can be a warning sign of type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Bleeding disorders like hemophilia and leukemia
  • Stress or poor diet

It’s in your best interest to determine the cause and figure out if it’s a simple fix or a sign of a health condition you need to get checked out and address.


There are also symptoms of bleeding gums to be aware of so you can take action quickly if you notice these signs. For instance, inflamed and irritated gums when brushing or flossing may be gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is usually a painless condition and bleeding gums may be the only symptom. You should also look out for symptoms such as, swollen, red, or tender gums, persistent bad breath or taste, teeth that are loose, and a change in the way your teeth fit when you bite. You should also be on the lookout for mouth sores or lumps on your gums.

Periodontal disease (periodontitis) can occur when gingivitis becomes advanced. Periodontitis can cause your teeth to loosen or fall out. It’s an infection of the gums, jawbone, and supportive tissues that connect your teeth and gums. Signs and symptoms of periodontitis include, swollen or puffy gyms, bleeding gums, bad breath, and gums that feel tender when touched.

Treatment Options

The first step you should take when managing bleeding gums is to practice good dental hygiene daily. You must commit to brushing twice per day using a soft toothbrush and floss at least once per day. You might also consider using an electric toothbrush that can help you to clean your gum line more easily than a manual toothbrush. Proper brushing and flossing can remove plaque from your gum line and reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

There are preventative actions you can take at home as part of your overall dental routine. Brushing your teeth daily should be automatic for you. Brushing should be done in a circular motion, for two minutes, spending an equal amount of time in each part of the mouth. Floss at least once per day and follow the curve of your teeth to avoid damaging the gums.

Dental visits are an excellent way to take preventative action against bleeding gums. Dr. Kevin F. Postol will perform an oral exam and can identify any signs of gum disease early on before it progresses. The cleaning entails removing plaque from your teeth in hard-to-reach areas. If you notice any of the signs and symptoms of bleeding gums or that a health condition is causing them then it’s best to schedule an appointment, outside of the recommended twice per year professional cleanings. Dr. Postol can review with you the best ways to brush and floss your teeth and check for signs of gingivitis.

Even if you have reached the advanced stages of gum disease, there is still time to fix the damage. Dr. Postol may perform scaling or root planning to treat advanced periodontitis. The goal and what these procedures will do is to remove the bacteria or plaque that caused the gum disease in the first place.

Next Steps

Regular dental visits are essential for early detection of gum disease, which will give you a better chance of reversing the damage already done. We are one of the best around when it comes to dental care and addressing bleeding gums. Do you have bleeding gums that won’t go away and want an opinion about what may be causing the bleeding? We invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Postol for bleeding gums treatment today.

At Kevin Postol, DDS, Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, our caring dental team is experienced in all areas of dentistry. We offer restorative and cosmetic dentistry, using state-of-the-art dental techniques and a gentle touch to improve your general health and quality of life.

Each time you enter our dental office, you will be welcomed warmly and sincerely. We understand that choosing a new dentist can be a challenge, leaving you with some uncertain feelings. If the value you place on your teeth and health coincides with our beliefs in quality dentistry and the prevention of dental disease, a mutually rewarding relationship should evolve for both parties. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Posted in Dental Health

Comments are closed.