Even though it can be scary to see your gums bleed when you floss or brush your teeth, it isn’t always alarming. There can be less serious and temporary reasons why your gums bleed, as there can be some concerning reasons as well. If you are unsure, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with your dentist.

1) Gingivitis

This is the first common cause of bleeding gums. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease where plaque on your teeth and at the gum line that is not removed by brushing and flossing infects the gums. Your gums may become swollen, tender and sometimes bleed during brushing and flossing. Frequent flossing, brushing your gums and teeth well and regular checkups with your dentist will help prevent gingivitis.

Gingivitis left untreated can become periodontal disease, or periodontitis, which is the infection of the gums, jawbone, and supportive tissues that connect your teeth and gums. Periodontitis can cause your teeth to loosen or fall out and is a very serious condition.

2) Medicine

Blood thinning medications may make your gums bleed. These medications decrease the blood’s ability to clot which leads to more frequent and easier bleeding. If you are taking any medications, let your dentist know!

3) Forgetting to brush or floss

If you haven’t brushed your teeth or flossed in a while and are starting over again, this may make your gums tender due to the leftover plaque and food. These overly sensitive gums and teeth can bleed when you begin a new routine.

4) Pregnancy

Pregnancy gingivitis is caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy that alter the body’s response to the bacteria that causes gum disease.

5) Your diet is subpar

A healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables, along with the addition of a diet in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium, and anti-inflammatories such as fish oil, are all critical building blocks of oral health.

The best way to prevent bleeding gums is to continue to properly brush and floss your teeth, use antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash to kill bacteria in your mouth, and make sure you see your dentist at least every six months for dental cleanings and checkups!

Call our office today at (562) 434-6414 to schedule your next dental appointment.