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What Causes Bleeding Gums?

What causes bleeding gums?

Though there can be many reasons for gums to bleed, the main cause is plaque.  Plaque or biofilm is bacteria that grows on your teeth.

Sounds so yucky but everyone has plaque.  It can be easily removed by brushing, flossing or using a dental product.

Gums that bleed are reacting to the plaque that doesn't get removed often or thoroughly enough.

If you see blood on your toothbrush or blood in the sink after brushing, it is likely that your gums need some attention...

If you can tell where the blood is coming from, try gently flossing, massaging, irrigating, rinsing or tooth picking that area.

If you can't tell, step up your efforts for your entire mouth.   

Be sure to use good technique and take care not to be too aggressive.  

Review your brushing technique here and flossing here.

It is likely that you will see improvement in a day or two. 

If you don't, you should see your dentist or hygienist.

5 Possible causes of bleeding gums...

1. You need a dental cleaning ~ has it been longer than 6 months? Dental calculus (tarter) may have formed near your gums. Once it is removed, you gums will be healthier.

what causes bleeding gums

2. You have a rough filling or crown near your gums ~ Fillings wear out, become loose, or break leaving a rough edge against your gums. Even brand new fillings or crowns can irritate your gums. Gums that stay inflamed more than a few days after treatment may indicate a problem with the filling or crown. Excess cement or filling material may need to be removed. In some cases dental work may need to be redone to maintain a smooth margin against your gums.


3. You have something stuck under your gums ~ You may need help to remove food that has become stuck between your teeth.

4. You have gum disease ~ Bleeding gums or gingivitis eventually progresses and needs treatment.

5. You have a dry mouth ~ Dry mouth from medications or mouth breathing can irritate your gums so much that they bleed easily when you brush or floss.


It is important to find out what causes bleeding gums. Whatever the cause, this condition can be improved in most cases.

Here are some of my favorite products for improving the health of your gums...

  • Sonicare Electric Toothbrush uses sonic technology to leave your teeth squeaky clean. I use and recommend Sonicare to my clients.

  • Listerine Mouthwash kills the bacteria that cause gingivitis. If you know where your gums are bleeding, try dipping your toothbrush in some Listerine and gently massage it into the gum line.

  • Floss  it really does work wonders:) But if you are not in the habit of flossing, it will be more difficult when your gums are irritated.

  • Waterpik Flosser is another great product that is easy to use. Try adding a capful of Listerine for even better results.


Bleeding gums should not be ignored

If you have bleeding gums and can't improve and eventually restore your gums to health through your efforts, you should see your dentist.  

Bleeding gums are a symptom of gums disease.

Next ~ Gum Disease Symptoms

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