When Should I Be Concerned with Bleeding Gums

Some patients may notice blood in the sink when brushing their teeth. Bleeding gums are relatively common and while it may be easy to ignore a small amount of blood, frequent gum bleeding may indicate an underlying issue. Bleeding gums can be an early sign of an issue that requires intervention and treatment. Common causes of bleeding gums are summarized below.


While flossing might seem rather straightforward, it is possible for patients to use incorrect technique and damage their gums. Overly aggressive flossing can create small cuts in the gums and cause receding gums in severe cases. Gentle pressure should be used when flossing and patients should follow the natural curve of the tooth. The floss should slowly glide up and down to properly clean the teeth. Avoid forceful or aggressive movements.


Some patients chose a toothbrush which contains firm bristles. People might think the added firmness will aid in cleaning the teeth, however, these toothbrushes can actually irritate the gums and damage the tooth’s enamel. A medium or soft toothbrush is best for cleaning the teeth.

Brushing Technique

Patient may also use vigorous, aggressive brushing strokes. The gums are sensitive and this type of brushing can cause redness, irritation, and even bleeding. Patients should use gentle, circular strokes when brushing their teeth.

Gum Disease

One of the most common causes for bleeding gums is gum disease. Untreated gum disease can be quite serious and ultimately result in the loss of teeth. A professional deep cleaning is often required to treat the disease. The dentist may suggest more frequent visits for a professional cleaning and examination to manage the disease. When patients experience bleeding gums, gum disease is often something the dentist will look for immediately.

Gum disease or periodontitis is quite common in the U.S. and affects millions each year. It is a progressive condition, and the early symptoms are quite mild. Many patients are not even aware that they have gum disease in the beginning. The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis and symptoms include bad breath and bleeding gums. Patients often ignore these early symptoms and only follow up with their dentist once the symptoms become worse and more severe.

Gum disease which is not treated can progress to periodontitis. This is the more serious form of the disease and associated with various issues. Periodontitis can negatively impact a patient’s dental and overall health. Common issues associated with periodontitis include an abscess, bone loss, loose teeth, cardiovascular disease, lung infections, and the loss of teeth.


Gum disease occurs when sticky, bacteria-filled plaque is not properly removed. The plaque will collect on the teeth around the gumline and irritate the gums. This can cause the gums to become sore, swollen, and bleed. Patients with bleeding gums should follow up with the dentist right away. The dentist can identify the cause and develop a treatment plan. Early detection of gum disease is critical in a positive outcome and preventing long-term damage. Treatment will often include improved oral hygiene practices. Patients should take their bleeding gums seriously as they can be an early indicator of an underlying issue that requires intervention and treatment.

Why are my Gums Bleeding