Why are my Gums Bleeding?

Bleeding gums is a common problem among adults. If your gum tissue bleeds easily, you may simply be using incorrect techniques when you brush and floss or your bleeding gums could be a symptom of something more serious. There are a number of reasons you may experience bleeding gums occasionally or more consistently. Let’s take a closer look.

Common Causes of Bleeding Gums

  • Brushing too aggressively or using a toothbrush that is not soft enough
  • Just started a flossing routine and your gums are not yet used to it
  • Certain medications such as blood thinners
  • You have gingivitis, a disease that causes inflammation of the gums
  • Pregnancy (pregnancy gingivitis which usually resolves after birth)
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Poor dental restorations


Gingivitis, inflammation of the gums, is a mild form of gum disease that can cause bleeding gums. It is a common problem and is caused by a buildup of plaque at the gum line. If you have gingivitis, your gums may be irritated, red, and swollen and may bleed when you brush your teeth.

Good oral hygiene is the best way to get rid of gingivitis. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, rinse daily with an antibacterial mouthwash, and see your Dentist regularly.


When gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into periodontitis which is a long-term gum condition that can cause damage to the tissue and bone that support your teeth. If you have periodontitis, your gums may become inflamed and infected and pull away from the roots of your teeth, which is called gum recession.

Periodontitis can cause your teeth to become loose or separate. Halitosis, chronic bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth that does not go away after brushing, is another symptom of advanced gum disease. Untreated, periodontitis can leave the patient at a high risk of tooth loss.

Underlying Medical Conditions

There are a number of medical conditions that can cause bleeding gum tissue. Diabetes can lessen the body’s ability to dispel bad bacteria which can lead to infections such as gum disease. High blood sugar levels that accompany diabetes make it harder for your body to heal, which can make gum disease worse.

Bleeding gum tissue can also be a sign of certain cancers, such as Leukemia. Leukemia causes a low platelet count in the blood and platelets are what the body uses to clot and stop bleeding. Leukemia makes it harder for the patient to stop bleeding, including in the gums.

Vitamin deficiencies are another issue that can lead to bleeding gums. A lack of vitamin C can prevent gum tissue from repairing itself. Vitamin C helps heal wounds and strengthens your bones and teeth.
Vitamin K is vital to the clotting process so if you are deficient in vitamin K, your body can have trouble stopping bleeding gums.

If you have bleeding gum tissue that is persistent over more than a couple of weeks, you should see your Dentist for treatment as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.

What causes bleeding gums?