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Medically Reviewed by Lisa A. Turner, DDS, MSD

If your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, you may have been told that it’s because you don’t floss enough. While this might be the case for some people, there are actually many other reasons why your gums might be more prone to bleeding.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

If you find that your gums are bleeding easily, it could be because of a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons are listed below:

  • Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. This can also be caused by pregnancy.
  • Brushing too hard.
  • Just started a flossing routine. It will take your gums time to get used to the routine, and your gums may bleed at first.
  • Have dentures that don’t fit well.
  • Faulty dental restorations.
  • Take certain medication. Blood thinners are often the medication most likely to cause bleeding gums.

What Could Bleeding Gums Mean?

Bleeding gums can be a sign of various different diseases. If they aren’t caused by anything listed above, then they could be an indicator of the following:

  • Periodontitis: Also known as periodontal disease, it is a long-term condition that happens when gingivitis isn’t taken care of. It can damage the tissue and bone that supports your teeth and can lead to your gums bleeding easily.
  • Diabetes: When you are suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your mouth isn’t as powerful for fighting germs and can raise your risk of getting gum disease, leading to bleeding or swollen gums.
  • Thrombocytopenia: If your gums don’t stop bleeding on their own, that could signify that you’re suffering from thrombocytopenia, which may leave your body without enough platelets to form a blood clot. Please note that this condition will affect more than just your gums. It will affect other parts of your body as well.
  • Lack of Vitamins: Vitamin C helps your tissue repair and bones strengthen, while vitamin K helps your blood clot properly. Lacking either of these vitamins can lead to bleeding gums, while a severe lack of vitamin C may lead to scurvy.
  • Leukemia: A type of cancer. Leukemia lowers your platelet count and makes it harder for your blood to clot. This makes bleeding harder to stop in your body.

When to see a Dentist or Periodontist

If you practice good dental habits, but your gums continue to bleed regularly while brushing or flossing for a few weeks, then you should make an appointment with your dentist to see if there’s a greater underlying problem. If the bleeding takes a long time to stop or is extremely frequent, then you should contact a dentist as soon as possible. If there are enough signs of periodontal disease, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist. You can also choose to see a periodontist on your own if you believe you are suffering from periodontal disease, as a referral is not required to see one. 

Contact Venice Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today. Call 941-497-5591.