bleeding gums causes

Should Your Gums Bleed When You Brush & Floss?


The short answer is no—not if you’ve been keeping good oral hygiene habits. That is, brushing twice a day, flossing daily and maintaining biannual cleanings and exams at your local Lifetime Family Dental office in Gilbert. If  you’re an exemplary dental patient, however, an underlying health concern could be the causing your bleeding gums. 

But for now, let’s go with the most probable cause: plaque—that dirty, six-lettered word. When food and bacteria builds up on your teeth and congregates around the base of your gums without properly being removed, it turns to plaque, which causes inflammation, irritation and sometimes bleeding. In this case, bleeding is likely a symptom of the first stage of gum disease called gingivitis. 

As you may already know, gingivitis and its associated symptoms are typically reversible by resuming healthy oral hygiene habits. The more advanced version of gum disease—periodontitis—however, is not. Here are some tips to stop your gums from bleeding, if it is in fact resulting from gingivitis. 

Stop the Bleeding 

  • Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide and/or saltwater 
  • Quit smoking 
  • Relax—stress weakens the immune system 
  • Increase Vitamin C and K intake
  • Eat less carbs
  • Drink green tea, a natural antioxidant  

Other Causes of Bleeding Gums

Now, what if plaque buildup due to infrequent flossing or brushing isn’t the cause behind bleeding gums? It could be anything from brushing too hard, a tooth or gum infection, hormonal changes during pregnancy, ill-fitting dentures, medication side effects to a more serious blood condition. In some cases, your dentist may want to order lab work to rule out any vitamin deficiencies or blood related irregularities. 

Give us a Call

If your gums continue to bleed after brushing or flossing for 7-10 days, it is a good idea to speak with your dentist at Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert. We may recommend a deep dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar build up. If it’s been awhile since your last cleaning and exam, give us a call today to schedule an appointment. Regular dental visits, along with daily brushing and flossing, are the best way to prevent gum disease. 


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