4 Potential Causes of Bleeding Gums

what causes bleeding gums

Learn four potential causes of bleeding gums.

Sometimes dental problems remain hidden until it is too late. However, other dental problems make themselves known right away. If you find that your gums are bleeding as you brush or floss, this indicates an issue you should address right away. While it may be upsetting to notice bleeding gums, they can also be a helpful warning sign. If you can figure out what is causing the bleeding, you can start fixing it immediately. The following four problems are the leading causes of bleeding gums. 


Gingivitis is a minor form of gum disease that occurs when plaque irritates and inflames your gums. Inflamed gums are extra sensitive and bleed very easily. If you are suffering from gingivitis, you may also notice redness of your gums, tender gums, swollen gums, or gum pain. If your gums bleed every time you brush, it is likely that you have gingivitis

To help your gingivitis, you can make sure to brush twice a day gently, and floss at least once. It is also helpful to schedule a professional dental cleaning to effectively remove all plaque and restore gum health. 


Naturally, you want to make sure you are brushing your teeth thoroughly to clean away all bacteria. You may even think that brushing a little harder will make your brushing more effective. However, that can lead to more damage. You can tell if you are brushing too hard by looking at your toothbrush. If the bristles are frayed, bent, or damaged, you are pressing too hard and creating bleeding gums. 

Remember that the best way to brush your teeth is to hold the brush at a 45-degree angle and gently brush the front and back of your teeth in small, circular motions. Replace your brush every three months and after illnesses. 

Irregular Flossing 

Bleeding gums during flossing are relatively common, especially if you are not flossing regularly. Your gums need time to heal and adjust to regular flossing, and until they do, they will bleed a little. If your gums don’t improve after about two weeks of daily flossing, it may be because your technique is too aggressive. If you change your method and still see bleeding, consult with your dentist about potentially more severe problems. 

Vitamin C Deficiency 

Bleeding gums are also a sign of scurvy, which is an extreme form of vitamin C deficiency! While you may not have scurvy, you may have a similar but less severe condition. Vitamin C helps repair tissue, and if you aren’t getting enough, your body may struggle to repair damaged tissue. 

If you believe this is the case, look at your diet. You can increase your vitamin C intake by eating more citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, and many more fruits and vegetables. You can also take a vitamin C supplement. If you still have bleeding gums after a couple of weeks on your new diet, consult your dentist. 

Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity

While these tips can help with some tooth and gum sensitivity issues, we know the best way of correcting the problem is to visit your dentist regularly. Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: , , ,