Why Are My Gums Bleeding and How to Stop It Right Away
It happens to everyone. You’re brushing or flossing your teeth and suddenly notice your gums are bleeding. What you might not be able to answer is, “Why are my gums bleeding?” Read on to learn what causes it and how to stop bleeding gums once you notice them.
Why Are My Gums Bleeding?
As soon as you realize your gums are bleeding, you’ll wonder what caused it. The truth is that a lot of different things can cause your gums to bleed, and most of the time, it has to do with your own oral hygiene habits. Bleeding gums are often caused by:
- Insufficient or infrequent brushing and/or flossing
- Brushing your teeth too vigorously
- Using a toothbrush with stiff bristles
- Using a toothbrush that’s worn and needs replacing
- Flossing incorrectly
Inconsistent or insufficient oral hygiene can cause inflamed or irritated gums that bleed, but improving your habits improves the health of your gums. If your gums consistently bleed when you brush and/or floss, see your dentist for a checkup. You may need a professional cleaning or a little help with your oral hygiene. Your dentist can help you improve your brushing and flossing techniques and give you tips about taking great care of your teeth and gums.
Less common causes of bleeding gums are worth considering if you take excellent care of your oral health. You might also experience bleeding gums if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have ill-fitting dentures or dental restorations
- Take blood thinners or certain other medications
- Have a tooth abscess
- Have a disease or condition impacting your immune system or blood clotting
If you’re asking, “Why are my gums bleeding” on a regular basis—particularly when you’re not brushing or flossing—it’s a good idea to see both your dentist and your primary care doctor. Your dentist can rule out any gum disease or other oral health problems, while your primary care doctor can screen you for other potential causes of bleeding gums.
How to Stop Gum Bleeding Immediately
Most cases of bleeding gums are due to insufficient oral hygiene or the need for new dental health tools or techniques, but you can usually resolve these problems relatively quickly and easily. Early gum disease is reversible with a few easy steps. Want to know how to stop bleeding gums? It all starts with healthy habits.
- Practice consistent, excellent oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice per day for two minutes each time with a dentist-recommended toothpaste. You should also floss once per day, using the correct technique.
- Use the right toothbrush and floss for you. You could be making your gums bleed because your toothbrush is too old, too hard, or just not right for your mouth. Similarly, you may need to try a different type of floss if the kind you currently use causes you to hurt your gums.
- Go to the dentist regularly. Professional dental cleanings and checkups are an important part of keeping your gums healthy. Don’t skip appointments and see your dentist as often as they suggest.
- Review your brushing and flossing techniques with your dentist. Sometimes, patients think they’re doing everything right, but a quick review with their dentist becomes an “Aha!” moment. Flossing and brushing correctly (and regularly) should never cause your gums to bleed.
- Watch your diet. Even if you have perfect oral hygiene, too many sugary or acidic foods or beverages could cause problems. A lack of vitamin C or vitamin K can also result in bleeding gums.
- Stop smoking. Smoking wreaks havoc on your entire body, including your mouth. Smokers are prone to gum disease and increased plaque.
- Keep your microbiome in check. Your mouth is a complex ecosystem of helpful and harmful bacteria. Make sure you’re not killing off healthy microbes by constantly using antiseptic products. Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water so harmful bacteria don’t get overfed.
- Rinse with salt water. Rinsing with salt water can help reduce harmful bacteria and help stop bleeding.
Want to know how to stop gum bleeding immediately? Try a quick saltwater rinse and an immediate improvement in your oral hygiene routine. If your gums don’t stop bleeding after about a week, see your dentist to find out what’s causing the bleeding. They can teach you how to stop bleeding gums naturally with careful and consistent oral hygiene. To learn more about how to stop bleeding gums and why oral health matters, order your copy of If Your Mouth Could Talk.
If Your Mouth Could Talk by Dr. Kami Hoss