HomeDental ProblemsBleeding Gums : Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Bleeding Gums : Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Bleeding gums is a common dental problem that may be associated with mechanical trauma to the gums or gum disease or it may be also associated with systemic disease or nutrient deficiencies, so please don’t ignore it. Let’s discuss in detail, why gums bleed and what are causative factors.

Common causes : 

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Hormonal changes

Causes of Bleeding Gums :

Gingivitis :

The main cause of bleeding gums is plaque accumulation near the gum line or subgingivally around the tooth surface for a longer period because of poor oral hygiene, causing inflammation of the gingiva or gums (also known as gingivitis), an inflammatory response from the gingival tissue (gums) causes damage to the sulcular epithelium and dilation of vessels in connective tissue which leads bleeding of gums or gingiva. It occurs on irritation by gentle probing, toothbrushing, flossing, certain food items, etc.

It can be limited to one tooth or a group of teeth. Generalized cases involve the full mouth.

Bleeding on probing is an early sign of developing gum disease so it shouldn’t be ignored.

Periodontitis :

If proper oral hygiene is not followed, the accumulated plaque is not clear properly and ultimately hardens in the form of calculus. It eventually causes a more destructive disease called periodontitis.

It causes further destruction of periodontal tissue involving gum bleeding, gum recession, loosening of teeth, and bone loss around teeth. Bleeding on probing, inflammation, and even changing the odor of the mouth can be seen.

Hormonal changes :

Hormonal changes during puberty in both males and females, the chances of gums bleeding increase and normally subsides after puberty.

An imbalance in female sex hormones makes a significant impact on gingival conditions in response to local factors. During puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause such hormonal changes cause gums or gingival bleeding. Increased level of progesterone is the main cause behind bleeding gums because of pregnancy gingivitis.

Vitamin C deficiency

Vitamin C is very important for gum health as it strengthens and repairs the gums. In lack of vitamin C, a disease called scurvy occurs which leads to loose and weak gingival tissue and causes bleeding gums. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDAs) for Vitamin C is about 90 mg in male adults and 75 mg in female adults.

Vitamin K deficiency

Vitamin K deficiency leads to bleeding gums as its deficiency causes difficulty in the formation of the blood clot. So make sure you are taking enough vitamins in your diet for better gingival health.

ill-fitting dentures and fillings

Wrong-fitting dentures and appliances irritate gingival tissue. Ill-fitting dentures and appliances not only damage oral tissue but also promote plaque accumulation.

Overhanging restorations and tooth filling in between teeth increase plaque accumulation which leads to an inflammatory response from the periodontal tissue and ultimately causes bleeding gums.

Certain medications

Certain blood thinning medications like antiplatelet drugs (for instance, aspiring) and anticoagulants (for example, warfarin, apixaban, dabigatran, etc.) cause bleeding gingival tissue. Women taking oral contraceptives increase the chances of gingivitis so that gum bleeding or gingival bleeding.

New flossing routine

In the early days of flossing, chances of bleeding are normal and it will gradually reduce as it becomes habitual. So don’t stop flossing on your oral hygiene routine. Make sure you are flossing correctly with the right method otherwise, it causes damage to your gingival tissue.

How to Treat and Prevent Bleeding Gums :

A proper oral hygiene routine is a crucial step toward the prevention and cure of gum disease. Regular dental checkups twice a year or more if you see any noticeable changes in your mouth are important.

A dentist may advise cleaning your teeth if they see any calculus or tartar accumulation as that cannot be removed at home with regular toothbrushing. Professional cleaning of calculus is crucial to avoid gum problems.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid trauma to the gums. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing correctly with the right method.

Demonstrate how you do flossing and toothbrushing to the dentist so the dentist can judge if you are doing any incorrect method and make you learn the right and less traumatic method. You may go with an Electric mechanical toothbrush or powered toothbrush if you are not comfortable with the toothbrushing technique.

I hope you understand your concerns about gingival bleeding. Make sure you take the necessary steps toward the prevention of gum bleeding or gingival bleeding. You can check our other articles which help you understand how to maintain oral hygiene daily.

  1. Vitamin K deficiency and gum bleeding https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/vitamin-k
  2. Ervasti, T et al. “Relation between control of diabetes and gingival bleeding.” Journal of periodontology vol. 56,3 (1985): 154-7 : https://doi.org/10.1902/jop.1985.56.3.154
  3. Leggott, P.J., Robertson, P.B., Rothman, D.L., Murray, P.A. and Jacob, R.A. (1986), The Effect of Controlled Ascorbic Acid Depletion and Supplementation on Periodontal Health. Journal of Periodontology, 57: 480-485 : https://doi.org/10.1902/jop.1986.57.8.480
  4. Mariotti, A. “Dental plaque-induced gingival diseases.” Annals of periodontology vol. 4,1 (1999): 7-19 : https://doi.org/10.1902/annals.1999.4.1.7
  5. Gusberti, F.A., Mombelli, A., Lang, N.P. and Minder, C.E. (1990), Changes in subgingival microbiota during puberty. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 17: 685-692 : https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-051X.1990.tb01054.x
  6. Nakagawa, S., Fujii, H., Machida, Y. and Okuda, K. (1994), A longitudinal study from prepuberty to puberty of gingivitis. Journal of Clinical Periodontology, 21: 658-665 : https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-051x.1994.tb00783.x
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya, BDS
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya, BDS
Dr. Shubham G. Devaiya is a registered Dentist and Medical content writer. He owns DentalFord and publishes content related to Oral Health for Oral Health Awareness.



Disclaimer : All the information on the page is for educational purposes only to make you aware, you can’t take it as a substitute for medical advice. If you are facing any health issues it is advised to take direct Medical help from medical professionals immediately.