Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

Gum bleeding can be a concerning and sometimes alarming dental issue. It’s a problem that many people experience at some point in their lives, and while it might seem minor, it should never be ignored. Healthy gums are essential for a beautiful smile and overall well-being. That’s why our team of Morrisville, NC dentists are sharing the common causes of gum bleeding, the available treatments, and the potential consequences if left untreated. 

At Mint Leaf Dentistry, your oral health is our top priority, and we are here to help you understand and address this issue.

man with bleeding gums and text saying "why are my gums bleeding?"

What is the Main Cause of Bleeding Gums?

Gum bleeding, also known as gingival bleeding, is a common dental issue that many people experience at some point in their lives. While it can be a temporary and benign problem, persistent or severe gum bleeding may indicate an underlying dental or medical condition. 

Understanding the common causes of gum bleeding can help individuals take appropriate steps to address the issue. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most frequent reasons why gums may bleed. 


Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, characterized by inflammation of the gums due to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria. This inflammation can cause the gums to become red, swollen, and prone to bleeding, especially when brushing or flossing.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Failing to maintain proper oral hygiene, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums. This buildup can irritate the gums and cause bleeding.

Aggressive Brushing

Brushing too vigorously or using a toothbrush with hard bristles can harm the delicate gum tissue. This can result in gum bleeding and can also lead to gum recession over time. Try to use soft bristle toothbrushes and let them do the work, pushing harder cannot replace frequent brushing or remove stains. In fact, it can add further damage and lead to receeding gums in the future. If your tooth brush looks like the ones below, you are brushing too hard.

flat toothbrushes from brushing too hard and overlaid text saying "stop brushing so hard"


Some medications, particularly anticoagulants (blood thinners) and certain antihypertensive drugs, can increase the risk of gum bleeding. If you’re taking any medications, it’s essential to inform your dentist so they can provide guidance on managing this side effect.


Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make the gums more sensitive and prone to bleeding. This condition is often referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. It’s important for pregnant women to maintain good oral hygiene and have regular dental check-ups.

Systemic Diseases

Systemic diseases like diabetes, blood disorders, immune system disorders, and HIV/AIDS can increase the risk of gum bleeding by weakening the body’s ability to fight infections and promoting gum inflammation. Managing these systemic diseases in coordination with oral care is crucial to preventing and addressing gum bleeding and maintaining overall health. 

Nutritional Deficiencies

A lack of essential nutrients like vitamin C can lead to gum problems, including bleeding gums. Vitamin C deficiency can result in scurvy, a condition characterized by gum bleeding and other health issues.


Smoking is harmful to oral health and can lead to gum disease, contributing to gum bleeding. The chemicals in tobacco products can irritate the gums, impair blood flow, and weaken the immune system’s ability to combat gum infections. Quitting smoking is essential to reduce the risk of gum bleeding and other oral health issues.


Chronic stress can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of gum problems, including gum bleeding. Stress can lead to poor oral hygiene habits and exacerbate conditions like gingivitis and periodontitis. 

Ill-Fitting Dental Appliances

Ill-fitting dental appliances, such as dentures, braces, or Invisalign trays can irritate the gums and cause gum bleeding. These appliances can create pressure points or rub against the delicate gum tissue, leading to discomfort and bleeding. Regular adjustments and consultations with your dentist are necessary to ensure that dental appliances fit properly and minimize the risk of gum problems.


Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to gum problems, making them more susceptible to gum bleeding.

How Do You Fix Bleeding Gums?

When it comes to managing your bleeding gums, there are some practical strategies you can implement to regain optimal gum health. By following these steps diligently, you can not only alleviate the discomfort and anxiety associated with bleeding gums but also prevent potential complications, such as gum disease and tooth loss. 

Improve Your Oral Hygiene

The most crucial way to fix bleeding gums is to improve your oral hygiene routine. Proper brushing is key– use a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums. Brushing gently along the gumline is vital, as this is where plaque buildup often occurs. Spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth to ensure thorough cleaning. Consider using an electric toothbrush, which can be more effective at plaque removal.

Floss Regularly

Daily flossing helps remove debris and plaque between teeth and at the gumline. Use a gentle back-and-forth motion to avoid harming your gums and combat bleeding from taking place. If traditional floss is challenging, consider using floss picks or interdental brushes. Do not be alarmed if you see blood on your floss– you are beginning a regimen of flossing that, when implemented frequently, will eliminate the side effect of bleeding gums. 

father and son flossing frequently to prevent bleeding gums

Use an Antiseptic Mouthwash

Mouthwash can help reduce the bacteria that contribute to gum problems, including bleeding gums. Look for a mouthwash with antibacterial or antiseptic properties. However, remember that mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing– it’s just one part of your daily oral hygiene routine. 

Avoid Tobacco and Smoking

Smoking is a leading cause of gum disease. Quitting smoking or using tobacco products can significantly improve gum health and stop the occurrence of bleeding gums. 

Monitor Your Diet

A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, can support gum health. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, which helps maintain healthy gums. Include foods like oranges, strawberries, and leafy greens in your diet to support your routine of brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. 

Get Regular Dental Check-ups and Cleanings

Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are the cornerstones of maintaining healthy gums and overall oral health. Do not let a lack of insurance keep you from seeing a dentist. A growing number of dentists offer no-insurance dental program that allow patients to pay a reasonable cash rate for care.

These routine appointments offer a range of benefits that go beyond just ensuring a bright smile. Firstly, they allow for the early detection of gum issues, such as bleeding gums, gum disease, or other oral health problems. Dental professionals are trained to spot these signs in their initial stages, making it possible to address them before they worsen.

Professional dental cleanings performed by hygienists are essential in removing plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and along the gumline. These deposits are often challenging to eliminate with regular brushing and flossing alone and can irritate the gums, leading to bleeding.

Regular dental visits also provide an opportunity for personalized oral care plans. Dentists can tailor recommendations to your specific needs, offering guidance on improving your at-home oral hygiene practices, selecting appropriate oral care products, and addressing issues like teeth grinding or jaw clenching that may contribute to gum problems. 

When Should I Be Concerned About Bleeding Gums?

Bleeding gums can be an early warning sign of underlying dental problems, and knowing when to be concerned about them is essential for maintaining good oral health. 

Here are some situations when you should take bleeding gums seriously:

  • Persistent bleeding
  • Bleeding during eating
  • Gums that are red and swollen
  • Bad breath 
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain and discomfort

Untreated bleeding gums can have serious consequences. Ignoring bleeding gums can lead to more extensive dental solutions like dental implants and potential impacts on your overall health, making early intervention essential for a healthy smile and a healthy life.

Gum Disease Progression

Gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease marked by bleeding gums, can progress to periodontitis if not treated. Periodontitis involves the loss of bone and soft tissue supporting the teeth, leading to tooth mobility and potential tooth loss.

Tooth Decay

Bleeding gums can expose tooth roots, making them vulnerable to decay. Cavities can develop more easily in these areas.

Chronic Inflammation

Gum disease is associated with systemic inflammation, which can impact your overall health. Emerging research links gum disease to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory problems.

Pain and Discomfort

As gum disease advances, it can cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty eating, affecting your quality of life.

Tooth Loss

In severe cases, untreated gum disease can result in tooth loss, which can have aesthetic, functional, and psychological consequences.

Contact Our Experienced Dentists to Fight Bleeding Gums in Morrisville 

Don’t let bleeding gums compromise your oral health and overall well-being any longer. At Mint Leaf Dentistry, we have a team of skilled and compassionate family dentists ready to help you combat bleeding gums and regain a healthy, confident smile.

Take the first step towards healthier gums and teeth by reaching out to us today. Our experienced dental professionals in Morrisville, NC are dedicated to providing you with personalized care, tailored to the needs of your teeth and gums. We offer comprehensive examinations, state-of-the-art treatments, and expert guidance to address the root causes of your gum issues and prevent further complications.

Get in touch with us today by calling  919-330-1710, filling out the contact form, or scheduling your visit online