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Why do my gums bleed? Understanding the Causes and Solutions

Bleeding gums are a common but often overlooked dental issue. While seeing a bit of blood when you brush or floss can be alarming, it’s usually a sign that something needs attention in your oral health routine. This guide will help you understand the causes of bleeding gums and provide actionable solutions to address and prevent this problem.

Common Causes of Bleeding Gums

  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the most common cause of bleeding gums. It’s a mild form of gum disease caused by plaque buildup at the gumline. Symptoms include red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Poor oral hygiene is the primary culprit, leading to inflammation and bleeding.

  • Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. Periodontitis can cause gums to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected. This can result in persistent bleeding, bone loss, and even tooth loss.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to the accumulation of plaque and tartar, causing irritation and bleeding. Ensuring proper oral hygiene can help prevent this.

  • Improper Brushing or Flossing Techniques: Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or flossing too aggressively can damage your gums, leading to bleeding. It’s essential to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, circular motions while brushing.

  • Medical Conditions: Conditions like diabetes, blood disorders, and immune deficiencies can affect your gums’ health, leading to bleeding.

  • Tobacco Use: Smoking or using other forms of tobacco can damage your gums and impair healing, increasing the risk of bleeding.

Solutions for Bleeding Gums

  • Improve Oral Hygiene:

    • Brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

    • Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth.

    • Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce plaque and bacteria.

  • Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Regular dental check-ups and hygiene treatments can help detect and treat gum issues early. Your dentist can provide professional hygiene treatments to remove tartar buildup.

  • Practice Proper Brushing and Flossing Techniques:

    • Use gentle, circular motions while brushing.

    • Be gentle while flossing to avoid damaging the gums.

  • Maintain a Balanced Diet:

    • Reduce your sugar intake.

    • Include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

  • Quit Smoking: Quitting smoking can significantly improve your oral health and reduce gum bleeding. Seek support from your healthcare provider or a smoking cessation program if needed.

  • Use Dental Products Designed for Sensitive Gums: There are toothpastes and mouthwashes specifically formulated for sensitive gums. These products can help reduce irritation and bleeding.

  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps wash away food particles and bacteria, promoting better gum health.

Get expert advice

If you're concerned about bleeding gums, Hampton Dental Care can provide expert help and advice with a dental check-up. Our secure online booking function allows you to book you or your child in for a check-up in minutes. Adult check-ups are only £45, whilst check-ups and general dentistry for under 18's are completely free!


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