Causes of Bleeding Gums

10 Causes of Bleeding Gums

August 21, 2018

You noticed there was a little pink in the sink after brushing your teeth. Or maybe you noticed a little blood in your mouth after flossing. What does it mean? Is it serious?

Well, it there are many potential reasons your gums are bleeding. Some are serious and others not as serious. All should be checked out by your dentist.

Gum disease is a serious cause for bleeding gums.

But, today, we’re going to look at the other, less serious reasons your gums are bleeding.

1. Gingivitis
This is the first stage of gum disease. Plaque that’s on your teeth at the gumline which isn’t brushed or flossed away breeds bacteria that can infect the gums.

This can lead to symptoms of gingivitis. Gums become swollen, tender, and sometimes, they bleed during brushing or flossing. Prevent or stop gingivitis by practicing proper brushing and flossing and staying on top of your routine dental check-ups.

2. Medications
The American Dental Association says that a possible cause of bleeding gums is blood thinning medications. Blood thinning medications decrease the blood’s ability to clot, which can lead to easier bleeding. Let your dentist know if you’re on any medications every time you visit.

3. A Change to Your Flossing Routine
A change in your flossing routine can lead to bleeding gums. If you take a couple of days off from flossing, or you increase the rate per week at which you floss, then you could get some bleeding. It should only happen a couple of times. If it happens frequently or every time you floss, visit your dentist.

4. New Toothbrush
If you’re transitioning from soft bristles to hard bristles, you might get some bleeding. So, take it back to your soft bristles, which are recommended.

5. Pregnancy Gingivitis
Yep, it's a thing. According to the American Pregnancy Association, hormonal changes during pregnancy alter the body’s response to the bacteria that causes gum disease. This can lead to swollen gums and bleeding during brushing. This should clear up after the pregnancy.

6. Poor Oral Hygiene Habits
Brush for two minutes, twice a day and floss daily to keep that plaque at bay, preventing swollen gums and gingivitis. Research shows that healthy gums can become diseased gums with just one day off of proper oral care.

7. Poor Diet
Some ingredients in processed foods can irritate gums and cause them to bleed. So, opt for healthier alternatives. Fruits and veggies, along with calcium, vitamins C and D, and magnesium are critical components of oral health. Make sure you’re getting your daily recommended allowances of those.

8. You’re Stressed Out
If you’re in a constant state of agitation and anxiety, it can compromise your immune system making it harder to ward off gum disease. Stress causes inflammation in the blood vessels. This breaks down the soft tissue in your mouth, preventing the healing process. Try to reduce your stress levels.

9. Misaligned Bite
If your teeth aren’t properly aligned (like if you have an overbite or grind your teeth), you may develop “bite disease.” That means destructive forces are being applied to your teeth, the supporting tissue, and the bone. When you hit too hard in one spot, the gum recedes, and the bone deteriorates, creating a prime spot for gum disease to appear. Talk to your dentist about solutions for an unbalanced bite.

10. You’re a Smoker
It’s true. Smoking increases  your risk for sensitive gums and gum disease, which makes it more likely that you’ll experience bleeding gums. Once the bleeding starts, the dangerous bacteria between the teeth and gumline can get into the bloodstream.

Concerned your gums are bleeding?

Visit your dentist. They check for signs of gum disease and other oral health issues during a routine check-up. They'll help identify if your gums are bleeding, what the cause is, and help get it under control. 

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