7 June 2022

What Do Bleeding Gums Indicate?

While sometimes perfectly normal, bleeding gums can also indicate gum disease in its early stages. Regardless of whether your gums bleed while your are brushing, eating or otherwise, it’s worth checking the list contained in this article to ensure you aren’t at risk of developing more-serious oral health complications. Below we have listed seven reasons why your gums might be bleeding as well as best practice when it comes to ensuring good gum and oral health. 

Seven Reasons For Bleeding Gums

Gums can bleed for many reasons. Some of the most common reasons include: 

Brushing Too Hard 

Brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing are crucial components of a good oral health care routine. However, using the wrong type of toothbrush or brushing too much can irritate the gums and result in bleeding. Brushing your teeth too hard won’t remove additional plaque. Instead, it can remove the enamel coating your teeth. 

If your gums are bleeding from brushing too hard, consider changing to a soft-bristle toothbrush. Brush softly in circular motions and look out for toothpaste and dental floss for sensitive teeth when you next go shopping. 



Gum disease, known as gingivitis, occurs when plaque buildup around the teeth begins to irritate the gums. This can make them more sensitive and can cause bleeding.  

Gingivitis is usually very treatable by better oral health care, however, if left untreated, it can develop into more-serious periodontitis which can cause teeth loss and other permanent damage. 

Vitamin Deficiencies 

Low levels of vitamin C and vitamin K in the bloodstream are associated with an increased risk of gum bleeding. 

Low vitamin C and K levels can be counteracted by adding more of the following foods to your diet: 

  • Vitamin C 
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Broccoli 
  • Strawberries 
  • Potatoes 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Vitamin K 
  • Kale 
  • Lettuce 
  • Mustard greens 
  • Spinach 
  • Watercress 

Hormone Changes 

Changes in hormone levels around the time of puberty, pregnancy or menopause can affect the amount of blood which flows to the gums. The increased blood flow can result in increasingly sensitive gums which may bleed. 

This condition never lasts long and is easily treated with good oral health care. Avoid touching your gums and be sure to brush and floss gently. 

Existing Medical Conditions 

Besides gingivitis and gum disease, other existing health conditions can cause gums to bleed. Hemophilia, leukemia and herpes are some of the conditions which can cause gums to bleed easily. Also, medications like aspirin, heparin and warfarin can thin the blood and make gums more likely to bleed during brushing or flossing. 

See your doctor if you think you have developed one of these conditions or wish to change medication which is causing your gums to bleed. 

Poorly Fitted Dental Devices 

Poorly fitted dentures or braces can sometimes cause gums to bleed if their placement irritates the gums. Bleeding gums can occur if a dental device is attached too tightly or if it becomes loose or dislodged. 

Your dentist will check on the fit of your dental device during a regular check-up. Simply mention your gums have been bleeding and your dentist will make appropriate adjustments to ensure your oral health stays in good condition. 

Bleeding After A Procedure 

Bleeding is common after an injury to the mouth or a dental procedure such as an extraction, wisdom teeth removal or oral surgery. This is usually temporary and may be relieved by applying pressure with gauze or a clean cloth for up to 30 minutes at a time. 

Don’t rinse your mouth or eat or drink until the bleeding has stopped, then avoid touching the wound or smoking while your gum is healing. If bleeding doesn’t stop, contact an emergency dentist or visit the emergency room if bleeding is heavy. 

Improve Your Natural Smile at Rose Dental 

If you are suffering from bleeding gums, contact Rose Dental today to book your initial consultation and oral health treatment with a licenced dentist. We service all of Five Dock, Drummoyne, Ashfield, Concord and the surrounding suburbs.