Many people will experience bleeding gums at some point in their life. At times people may notice their gums bleeding randomly with no apparent cause, but there is usually an underlying cause. 

The causes of bleeding gums include being too rough when brushing and gum disease. There are plenty of potential reasons for bleeding gums. As a result, there are many treatments and home remedies for people wondering how to stop their gums bleeding. 

The most common causes of bleeding gums include the following:

  • Gum disease, particularly gingivitis
  • Poor brushing technique
  • Poor flossing technique, or when starting to floss for the first time
  • Mouth or palate injuries, including cuts and burns

Whatever the cause of your bleeding gums might be, it can be a distressing experience and you will understandably want to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. As experts in providing quality dental care, we can shed some light on the common reasons why bleeding gums occur – and provide details on treatments.

Our services are available in the Brighton and Hove area. If you require treatment for bleeding gums or would like an initial dental check-up to help determine the cause we can help. Get in touch with us to book an appointment today.

Reasons Why Bleeding Gums Happen

Red and swollen or bleeding gums are common and sometimes seem to occur for no reason. Bleeding is a sign that the gum tissue is inflamed. While gum bleeding can be a symptom of a potentially serious underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, there is usually a less serious cause.

If you do not have an underlying medical condition common reasons why gums bleed include the following:

Gum disease

Gum disease is one of the most common causes of bleeding gums. Good oral hygiene is important for preventing gum disease. You should also visit your dentist and have regular dental check-ups to help catch gum disease in its early stages.

Gingivitis, inflammation of the gums, is a common cause of bleeding. Better oral care can help reduce inflammation and bleeding, so make sure you brush and floss your teeth regularly. 

To help prevent inflammation you can do the following: 

  • Brush your gums, but only start doing this after the bleeding is under control.
  • Brush both teeth and gums at least twice a day, more if possible.

Periodontitis, which people also call periodontal disease, can result from untreated gingivitis. Periodontitis is extremely harmful to oral health and can result in tooth loss, infection, bad breath and consistent bleeding gums.

Not Brushing Properly

One of the most common, and preventable, reasons why gums bleed is poor brushing technique. When you brush the bristles reach into every crevice of the teeth and also brush across the gums, which can cause inflammation and bleeding.

You might not notice bleeding gums when brushing as after rinsing small amounts of bleeding may not be visible. You can examine the toothbrush and basin when you rinse your mouth to check if there is any blood, this will help determine if it is the brushing that is causing the bleeding or something else.

Being too rough and fast when brushing may cause bleeding, try and be gentle and use an electric toothbrush if possible. Old toothbrushes can become even more coarse and bristly than they are when new, which can irritate the gums – so make sure to replace them regularly.

Not Flossing Properly

Gums can easily bleed when flossing. After flossing, look at your gums in the mirror to see if it is the flossing that is causing it or something else. You can also check the floss itself.

As with brushing, when flossing the technique should not be overly aggressive as this can damage the gums. Hold the floss tight and gently rock back and forth at the top of each gap between the teeth, this will avoid the tough floss snapping onto the surface of the gums.

Sometimes tender gums will still bleed even when you use the proper flossing technique, especially if you are just starting to do it. Once you are used to the process your gums should become resilient enough to stop bleeding, so flossing is still a worthwhile practice to continue.

Gum and Palate Injuries

Sometimes the gums will bleed because of an injury. An injury in the palate, the roof of the mouth, can also make it seem as if gums are bleeding. You can avoid this for injuries that occur while eating. However, in some cases, an injury will occur for unpreventable reasons.

Foods that are sharp, such as popcorn kernels, can cut the soft tissue of the gums and make them bleed. Crackers and tough breads, such as a pizza crust, may also cut the soft tissue in the mouth. 

A burn to the roof of the mouth or the gums can also cause an injury that takes time to heal, and when you brush over this injury it may bleed.

You can avoid bleeding gums from problem foods by chewing thoroughly and making sure that foods are cool enough to eat before consuming them. If your gum or palate has an injury, allow it to fully heal before brushing or flossing in the area to prevent any bleeding.

How to Stop Bleeding Gums

When wondering how to stop bleeding gums the best approach depends on the cause. While gums may appear to bleed randomly at times it is not common for regular bleeding to occur for no reason. Determining the cause will establish the most appropriate treatment.

Maintaining good oral hygiene, which includes brushing twice a day and flossing, is the best way to stop gums from becoming sore and keeping the gum tissue healthy – which can stop the most common causes of bleeding gums. Without brushing regularly you increase the risk of bleeding gums and other dental problems.

If you are unsure of the reasons for your bleeding gums or think there may be other causes you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. For an appointment in the Brighton and Hove area, you can get in touch with us.

Contact us to find out more.