5 Leading Causes of Bleeding Gums

Closeup portrait of woman showing her teeth and inflamed gumsBleeding gums are a common dental problem. Knowing the reason behind this oral health concern can help you understand when to either treat the issue yourself or make an appointment with your dentist in Lakeville, MN. Here are the five leading causes of bleeding gums.

Early-stage periodontal disease

The leading cause of bleeding gums is plaque build-up at the gum line. When you don’t remove this sticky film on the teeth, you’re likely to develop gingivitis. Your gums are likely to swell up, redden, and bleed. Luckily, this early form of gum disease is preventable and reversible. Talk to your dentist about a professional cleaning of the plaque. Plaque removal will help to reduce bleeding and inflammation and prevent gingivitis from turning into periodontitis.

Change in flossing habits

Gums need time to get used to flossing. They may then bleed if you just started cleaning between your teeth, have begun a new flossing routine, or you recently went back to flossing after some break. Fortunately, gums usually calm down within a week of flossing.

Improper brushing

Sometimes, bleeding is a sign you’re brushing too hard, or your toothbrush is injuring your gums. Find a softer toothbrush and brush gently to stop this kind of bleeding.

Ill-fitting dental appliances

Dentures that don’t fit can slide around in the mouth and irritate the gums. Warm compresses and salt water rinses can help heal the sores and swelling caused by ill-fitting dentures. It’s also important to get such dental appliances refitted.


Hormonal changes related to pregnancy create more blood flow to the gums. Consequently, the gums may swell, redden, and bleed much more easily. Some pregnant women also develop pregnancy gingivitis that makes their gums swollen and tender.

There are varied reasons your gums might bleed. Proper oral care routine often helps gums stop bleeding. In other cases, professional intervention is required. Visit your dentist for appropriate diagnosis of the real cause of your bleeding gums.