What Do Bleeding Gums Mean?

March 26, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drruiz @ 8:25 pm

If you’ve experienced bleeding gums at one point, it can be pretty uncomfortable or even scary. And even more than that, bleeding gums can be a sign of something bigger going on in your mouth. So, in this article, we’ll unpack what bleeding gums might mean and what you can do about it. 

Keep reading!

Possible causes of bleeding gums

There is more than just one possible cause of bleeding gums — there’s actually a lot of reasons why gums bleed. Here are a few.


Gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, is a common cause of bleeding gums. If you don’t brush or floss properly, or enough, then this can allow plaque to harden into tartar that can cause more bleeding. Plaque accumulating near your gum can also cause gingivitis. While gingivitis can cause bleeding gums, it can also cause puffy gums and mouth soreness.


Periodontitis is gum disease that can damage the soft tissue around your teeth. Like gingivitis, it’s often caused by a lack of dental care. Periodontitis can cause gum bleeding, swollen gums, and even tooth loss if left untreated.

Vitamin deficiencies

Vitamin deficiencies, particularly deficiencies in vitamin C and vitamin K, can also cause bleeding gums. Vitamin K can help your blood clot properly and is also good for your bones. Vitamin C can help with tissue repair and strengthen your bones and teeth. Deficiencies in both can lead to swollen and bleeding gums, so it’s important to get enough of each. 

Foods rich in vitamin C include fruits and vegetables like broccoli, strawberries and bell peppers, while foods in vitamin K include olive oil, spinach, and kale.


Bleeding gums can indicate type 1 or type 2 diabetes because with this disease, your mouth isn’t as able to fight off germs and you’re at risk for gum disease. High blood sugar levels that often come with diabetes can also make gum disease worse since it makes it harder for your body to heal.

Brushing and flossing technique

Gums are delicate, so brushing too vigorously or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage them, leading to red and swollen gums. Similarly, improper flossing techniques can also hurt the gums and cause bleeding. Be gentle and slide the floss up and down your teeth.

Other possible conditions

There are other possible causes of gum bleeding. These include:

  • Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which your body may not have enough platelets for a blood clot. This can cause bleeding, including gum bleeding.
  • Hemophilia is a disorder that also affects blood clotting, which can cause bleeding gums. 
  • Leukemia, a type of cancer, in which your blood platelets are low, which can make it harder for your gums (and other parts of your body) to stop bleeding.

Treatment for bleeding gums

As stated earlier, one of the most common causes of bleeding gums is gum disease. So, if you have gum disease some treatments your dentist might recommend are:

  • Improving at-home oral hygiene practices.
  • Prescription antibiotics.
  • A deep cleaning, tooth scaling, and root planing.
  • Osseous surgery.
  • Laser periodontal surgery.

If your dentist finds that gum disease is not the cause of your bleeding gums, they may recommend testing to determine if you have another underlying health condition that can cause the gums.

What you can do to prevent bleeding gums

One of the main things you can do to prevent bleeding gums is to maintain good dental hygiene. You can:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush in a circular motion. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is crucial in preventing further irritation to the gums. Soft bristles are gentler on the gums and less likely to aggravate existing inflammation.
  • Floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles between teeth and under the gumline.
  • Avoid tobacco products, which can increase the risk of gum disease.
  • Visit your dentist for regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings to remove stubborn plaque and tartar.
  • Eat a balanced diet, with food rich in vitamin C and vitamin K

Visit Dr. Ruiz & Associates for a dentist in Burbank

If you’re in the Burbank area and are experiencing bleeding gums, come visit our dentist office, Dr. Ruiz & Associates. Dr. Ruiz is a renowned dentist, educator, and researcher who is known as a pioneer in supra-gingival minimally invasive dentistry, or “above the gums dentistry.” This is a healthier form of dentistry that protects soft oral tissues and produces long-lasting, beautiful results. And all of our staff are trained in these techniques.Check out our Google reviews and schedule an appointment with us today!

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