Is It Normal for My Gums to Bleed When Brushing My Teeth?

If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, it’s important to determine the cause.

Have you noticed your gums bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth? Or did your dental hygienist tell you your gums were bleeding at your last cleaning? Either way, if your gums bleed, you’re likely wondering if something is wrong.

Bleeding is typically a sign of injury. So if you notice blood when you brush or floss, you might be tempted to stop. However, a better response is to determine the cause and take control of your oral health.

Causes of Bleeding Gums

Your gums are made up of soft tissue that covers your jawbones and the roots of your teeth. Healthy gums hug your teeth gently to form a seal that prevents bacteria from entering. They are naturally pink, but they are not supposed to bleed when you brush or floss.

However, most people will experience bleeding gums at some point. So what does it mean if they bleed? Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Gingivitis – It develops when plaque stays on the gum lines too long. Plaque may stay on your gums if you don’t brush or floss properly.
  • Periodontitis – Also known as periodontal disease, occurs when gingivitis becomes advanced. It is an infection of the gums, jawbone, and supportive tissues that connect your teeth and gums. Periodontitis can cause teeth to fall out.
  • Pregnancy Pregnancy can make gums more vulnerable to plaque due to hormonal changes due to pregnancy. Some women get swollen and sore gums due to hormonal changes when pregnant.
  • Vitamin deficiencies – Vitamin C and K deficiencies can cause gums to bleed easily.
  • Not flossing enough – Bleeding while flossing is often an indication you’re not flossing enough.

These are the most common reasons. However, other underlying health issues can cause sensitivity when brushing and flossing. Bleeding disorders such as hemophilia and leukemia can increase gum sensitivity. If you take blood thinners or other drugs in this class like aspirin and heparin, you can experience bleeding gums. Therefore, contact your medical provider to discuss your symptoms if you have any concerns.

Why Floss Correctly

Brushing your teeth removes harmful bacteria and plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. But flossing gets between your teeth and below your gums to effectively remove plaque buildup before it hardens and turns into tartar.

Therefore, it’s essential to floss your teeth correctly. It’s also important to floss regularly, not just hit or miss. When you first start flossing, you may notice some bleeding. But after you get used to a flossing routine, bleeding should stop in a few days.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have any dental questions or concerns, schedule an appointment today. At The Dental Anesthesia Center, we value our patient relationships, making it our priority to deliver the gentle dental care that you deserve from sedation dentists in St. Louis. We work hard to make you feel at ease by providing exceptional patient care in a relaxed, convenient atmosphere.

Call Us Today

The Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologist in Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area.

Call (314) 862-7844
Updated: August 31, 2023

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