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causes of bleeding gums

Common Causes of Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums can be a serious cause of concern. Contrary to what most people believe, bleeding from gums after brushing or flossing is not part of the routine. Under normal circumstances, gums must not be too sensitive and should be able to withstand the slight pressure that comes with the activities of your daily dental care routine. If you notice blood oozing out of your gums every time you brush or floss, it is a clear indication that something’s just not right!

An apple with blood on it from bleeding gums

However, owing to the number of possible cases, pinpointing the reason behind bleeding gums on your own can be a little hard. Scroll down to read about some of the most common causes of bleeding gums and try not to diagnose yourself. In fact, it is always a good idea to consult a professional when it comes to bleeding gum.

Plaque Buildup

When it comes to dental hygiene, the buildup of plaque is your number one enemy. It is a flimsy, sticky layer that usually sticks on your teeth and tongue. It is formed when bacteria in the mouth break down the food particles and sugary bits stuck between your teeth. Failing to remove plaque buildup from the mouth can have a number of serious repercussions, and bleeding gums is just one of them. When plaque is not removed properly, over time, it deposits along the gum line, separating the teeth from the gums. This can leads to a number of dental problems including diseases like gingivitis and increased gum sensitivity, which can cause bleeding.

Tooth Cavities

Tooth cavities can harm you in more than one ways. Since teeth are literally attached to the gums, a tooth cavity can easily infect the gums, leading them to bleed. Once an infection stemming from a tooth cavity spreads along the gum line, your gums are likely to get inflamed as they try to counter the intruding bacteria. This increases the sensitiveness in the gums, and they become more susceptible to bleeding, even from slight pressure.


Medications can be one of the possible causes of bleeding gums. If you are on a blood-thinning medication, it may be the culprit behind your bleeding gums. Such medications work to decrease the clotting ability of the blood. While it may be good for your heart and body under some circumstances, it can cause your gums to bleed easily.


During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes and hormones can get all over the place. These abrupt hormonal changes during the pregnancy can change how the body reacts to bacteria, causing gum diseases like Gingivitis, more commonly known as Pregnancy Gingivitis. A number of pregnant women experience swollen gum, inflammation, and gum bleeding. However, there’s nothing alarming about pregnancy gingivitis as the symptoms only prevail during the pregnancy and clear up on their own after it.

Non-Dental Disease

Bleeding gums can develop as a symptom of a number of other physical diseases that may not have anything to do with dental hygiene at all. One such condition is known as Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), which is a disorder where blood loses its ability to clot normally. This, in turn, can lead to gum leading. Low Platelet Count is another common cause of bleeding gums which is related to the general health of the body rather than dental health.

Bleeding gum can also be indicative of something much more dangerous and alarming like Leukemia. For this reason, it is important to never take bleeding gum lightly. If you are experiencing bleeding from your gums, make sure you consult a doctor regarding this problem. If your dentist couldn’t figure out the cause of bleeding gums in your case, you may have to undergo a complete health checkup to figure out the real cause.

Vitamin Deficiencies

While your teeth need Vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus and other minerals to remain strong and well, your gums also need its fair share of vitamins to stay healthy. It is important to note that Vitamin C is as important for your gums as calcium is for the teeth. Research suggests that early deficiency of Vitamin C can lead to inflammation and bleeding. When left untreated for a long time, it can develop into Scurvy, which is a relatively rare yet serious gum disease.

Vitamin B is another essential vitamin for your gums. In fact, it is known to treat and cure genitives in pregnant women. Similarly, vitamin A and vitamin K, along with other vitamins and minerals, are also essential to maintain good dental health. An easy way to make sure your gums get all the vitamins it needs to sport a healthy, dazzling smile is to consume a healthy and balanced diet.

Change in Dental Care Routine

The mouth, especially the gums, is generally a sensitive area and any changes in your dental care routine can lead to bleeding gums. Did you recently start flossing? While flossing is a good habit that promotes dental hygiene, it can easily lead to bleeding gums if you are just starting out with it. Over time, your gums get used to it, and the bleeding stops as you learn how to floss properly. Similarly, replacing your brush can be another common cause of bleeding gums.  Using a brush that is too hard on the gums or brushing too vigorously can also cause the gums to bleed.


So, did you figure out the cause of your bleeding gum? Well, you may have an idea about it, but self-diagnosis is never a good idea. If you are experiencing a problem associated with gums, it is advisable to book an appointment with your dentist to make sure your smile always showcases healthy gums and dazzling teeth!


Dr Hassan El Awour


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