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Learn what causes your gums to bleed and how to fix this dental issue.

The discussion of dental health often concentrates on the appearance and health of our teeth. We learn about discoloration, cavities, and other ways that help us to identify the need for improving dental care and seeing your dentist on a regular basis.

Our gums, however, can also indicate both minor or major problems related to proper dental health, especially when they bleed when you floss or brush. Paying close attention to what causes gums to bleed is important but often neglected, so we’re going to detail some of the possible reasons that you’re experiencing this problem.


If your gums are bleeding, the first thing you should probably consider is gingivitis. This mild form of gum disease is the result of plaque build-up at your gum line. You can fix this problem by brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash each day, in addition to regular family dentist visits. If you don’t treat your gingivitis, it will turn into periodontitis, which will damage the tissue and bone that support your teeth.

Early Sign of Diabetes

When you suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your body isn’t as efficient at fighting germs and high blood sugar levels reduce your body’s ability to heal. This can lead to swollen or bleeding gums. Diabetes isn’t something to be taken lightly, so if you’ve noticed other symptoms, such as an almost endless need to urinate, then you should seek the advice of a medical professional immediately.

New Flossing Routine

A very common reason for what causes gums to bleed is starting a new flossing routine. If you haven’t flossed on a regular basis for an extended period of time, then your gums will be a bit sensitive for a while. This will typically go away after a few weeks, depending on how well you stick with the routine, as your gums become stronger.

Not Enough Vitamin K or C

Many ailments we experience can be due to a lack of certain vitamins in our diet. Vitamin K improves the health of your bones and allows your blood to clot properly while vitamin C assists with tissue growth and repair, in addition to strengthening your bones and teeth. If your body isn’t getting enough of either of these vitamins, then the chances of bleeding gums become increasingly prevalent.

Problems with Brushing

Another common problem that often answers the question of what causes gums to bleed is that you’re either brushing with too much force or are using the wrong type of toothbrush during teeth cleaning sessions. Toothbrushes come with soft, medium, and hard bristles. If you’re brushing the way you should but your gums are bleeding, then the bristles might be too abrasive.

Taking Certain Medications

There are several common medications that are known to cause gum swelling, as well as bleeding. One of the most common is any type of blood thinner, but there are a variety of medications that can cause this to happen. If you’re taking any prescriptions, pay attention to the warning labels if you notice that your gums are bleeding and consult your doctor for either an alternative medication or a potential solution.

Other Possible Ailments

In addition to diabetes, there are other conditions that will often cause gums to bleed. Arguably, the worst of these is leukemia, but others include thrombocytopenia, hemophilia, and von Willebrand disease. Another rare possibility is scurvy, which is a severe shortage of vitamin C. If you can’t find a simple solution for bleeding gums, then a visit to your doctor might be in order.


Pregnant women may notice their gums bleed more than they used to, even without changing their habits. This is usually preventable but may be a sign of underlying gum issues and should be checked by the dentist and we can give them tips on reducing the effect.

Contact Harborview Dental Health for Routine Dental Checkups

If you have any other questions on what causes gums to bleed or would like to learn about the gentle dental techniques utilized by Harborview Dental Health, contact our dentist in Palm Harbor today at (727) 785-4716. Our team specializes in general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry. We can also assist you with different ways to finance dental work for a beautiful and healthy smile!