A young woman is brushing her teeth

5 Causes Of Bleeding Gums You Should Know

If you've noticed some blood after brushing or flossing your teeth, don't panic. There are several reasons why your gums may bleed. What causes bleeding gums? Learn about the common causes of bleeding gums after brushing and when to see your dentist.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

There are several reasons why your gums may bleed. Some causes are more severe than others. You can prevent bleeding gums with proper oral hygiene, including keeping your regular dental appointments. Here are some common causes of bleeding gums, which we will describe in-depth below:

  • Gingivitis
  • Medications
  • Changes in dental hygiene routine
  • Brushing or flossing too vigorously or with too much pressure
  • Pregnancy gingivitis.

1. Gingivitis

Gingivitis can cause swollen, tender, and sometimes bleeding gums during brushing. It is the first stage of periodontal disease, which is a serious gum affliction. When plaque on your teeth and at the gumline is not removed by brushing and flossing, it can harm the gums. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible with treatment from your dental hygienist and dentist.

The leading cause of gingivitis is improper oral hygiene. If not addressed, the condition can progress to periodontal disease. The good news is you can prevent this outcome by seeking treatment as soon as the early signs of gum problems appear.

If your dentist has diagnosed gingivitis, you should be aware that the condition can affect other health conditions. According to the South African Society for Periodontology , Implantology and Oral Medicine, diabetes is a risk factor for gingivitis. Some people can have a potential association between gum disease and other severe health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke.

2. Medications

Blood-thinning medications are also a possible cause of bleeding gums. Blood-thinning medications decrease the blood's ability to clot, which can lead to bleeding. Let your dentist and physician know about your experience and the medicines you're taking during your regular appointments. If the bleeding becomes more serious, contact your physician immediately.

3. Changes in Your Dental Care Routine

If you have not flossed regularly before, your gums might start to bleed between your teeth when you begin to floss. With regular care, this should clear up within a week. If it doesn't, contact your dentist to set up an appointment, as you may have gingivitis.

Using a firm-bristle toothbrush can also result in bleeding gums. Switch to a soft or medium-bristled brush and talk to your dental hygienist about what toothbrush is right for you at your next appointment.

4. Brushing or Flossing Too Vigorously

You may notice some bleeding if you floss or brush too vigorously. But don't give up the practice — flossing and brushing are both critical for oral health. Ensure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a gentler touch. The bleeding should stop within a week.

5. Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnant women may experience swollen gums and bleeding during brushing. The American Pregnancy Association calls this "pregnancy gingivitis." Hormones can alter the body's response to the germs that cause gum problems, triggering sensitivity. Going to your dentist and dental hygiene appointments, brushing regularly, and flossing daily can help to prevent gum problems and bleeding from becoming worse.

You can correct bleeding gums with proper oral hygiene using a soft-bristled brush and a gentle flossing technique. Keep up with your dental appointments so you can prevent gum problems in mild and more severe stages.

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