What Causes Bleeding Gums?

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One of the main causes of bleeding gums is dental plaque. It is the bacterial film that inflames and irritates gum tissue, leading to an early stage of gum disease called gingivitis that is known to result in bleeding gums.

However, there are several factors that cause the gums to bleed easily, including:

  • Aggressive brushing: When you brush too hard, you can irritate your gum tissue. We encourage you to use gentle, circular motions with a soft-bristled toothbrush instead of sawing back and forth across your teeth.
  • Vitamin deficiency: A lack of essential vitamins such as C and K in the body can cause bloody gums.
  • Anemia: Anemic patients are deficient in red blood cells or hemoglobin as a result of too little iron in their diet.
  • Medication: Some medications that are blood thinners or regulate blood pressure can inflame the gums and make them bleed easily.
  • Smoking: Tobacco produces toxins that cause dry mouth and irritate the gums.
  • Hormones: If you are undergoing pregnancy or menstruation, you can experience hormonal spikes that disrupt your mouth’s chemical balance and impact the gum tissue.
  • Infection: Condition such as the serious gum infection periodontitis can weaken the bone structure below your teeth and heighten your risk of stroke and heart attack.

Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?

Very often, this is because you have not flossed in a long time. If it has been a while, your gums may be sensitive, irritated, or even bleed when you begin your flossing routine. This is perfectly acceptable. Once you begin flossing daily, your gums should no longer bleed. In the process you will be removing the plaque from in between your gums and your teeth, helping them to be in better health.

Why are my gums swollen?

If your gums have started to swell, there are two main causes for it. The first is that you have irritated your gums or accidentally scratched them by eating something that is particularly sharp or abrasive. The second, and most likely, is that you are suffering from an early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis typically makes your gums swell, become red and irritated. This is a warning sign that should lead you to schedule an appointment with our dental office. If you notice this early warning sign and seek treatment, a dental cleaning may be all that is necessary to treat the condition so that your gums can return to good health. Otherwise, the symptoms could become progressively worse.


If your gums are bleeding, visit our Kennewick dentist office to have your teeth examined. At Tri-city Dental Care we can examine you and determine whether they are bleeding due to simple irritation or if there is a greater health concern. You can schedule an appointment with our office by calling 509.579.0759