Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Brush My Teeth? | Kirkland Premier Dentistry
Photo of the office manager on the phone

Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Brush My Teeth?

February 27, 2024

Have you noticed your gums bleeding recently? Gums can bleed for a variety of reasons, including improper brushing technique, gingivitis, inflamed gums, pregnancy gingivitis, incorrectly fitted dentures, and other health problems. 

The significance of healthy gums 

Healthy gums are essential for a healthy life. Maintaining healthy gums can even result in a longer life. This is because gum disease may point towards several health conditions that may affect your life and may turn into chronic conditions that may shorten your life span. 

What causes gums to bleed?

The most common reason for gum disease to start is neglect. Even though gum disease can affect people who take care of their dental health, the most prevalent reason is the lack of daily oral care and infrequent visits to the dentist for oral checkups. You need to ensure that your daily oral care includes brushing twice a day and using dental floss. Research suggests that flossing may add six years to your life! 

1. The relation between hormones and gums 

Some women have gum issues during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Hormonal surges during puberty can cause blood flow to the gums, leading to swelling, redness, and sensitivity. Women who suffer from menstrual gingivitis experience redness and swelling in the gums, along with bleeding that starts right before their menstrual period. Gingivitis may begin in the second or third month of pregnancy and may persist through the eighth month. Symptoms of gingivitis during pregnancy may include symptoms like soreness, swelling, and bleeding gums. Using oral contraceptives can result in similar gum-related issues. Even though it is not very common, some women experience dryness, soreness, and bleeding in the gums while going through menopause. 

2. Periodontitis 

You can get periodontal disease if you don’t treat gingivitis in time. This is a long-term issue that affects the tissue and bone that give support to your teeth. Periodontitis adds to the inflammation of your gums and makes them prone to infection. Infected gums are prone to getting pulled away from the roots of your teeth. 

If you notice that your gums are bleeding easily, you may have periodontal disease. You may feel that you have a constant bad taste in your mount along with bad breath. 

3. Improper brushing technique 

Many people brush their teeth forcefully, thinking that doing this will lead to better cleaning of the teeth. It would help if you did not forget that gums are delicate and bushing them vigorously may harm them. 

It would help if you considered using a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your teeth. If you want more controlled movements, you can try an electric toothbrush. Brushes with hard bristles can damage your teeth’s enamel and lead to swelling, redness, and even holes in your gums.

Make sure you brush your teeth in gentle, circular motions to clean your gums and teeth gently. Please do not use the back-and-forth motion to brush because this can harm your gums and make them recede or bleed. 

4. Scurvy

An extreme shortage of vitamin C in your body may lead to scurvy. This is a rare disease that is lined with poor nutrition. It also leads to weakness and anemia, which causes bleeding under the skin. If you have bleeding gums, it may be a sign of scurvy. 

5. Deficiency of Vitamin K

Bleeding gums may point towards a Vitamin K deficiency. Vitamin K is responsible for blood clotting and is also beneficial for bone health. If your body is not absorbing the vitamin perfectly, you may experience bleeding gums. 

6. Tobacco 

Tobacco products can severely affect your oral health and can damage your gums in terrible ways. Smokers are prone to developing gum disease. If you have healthy gums and don’t want to suffer gum issues like sensitivity, redness, and bleeding, you should avoid smoking. 

7. Heart disease 

Studies have shown that there is a significant link between heart disease and gum disease. People with gum disease are prone to getting heart disease. Scientists have found that plaque buildup on your teeth may be a predictor of plaque buildup in your arteries. 

8. Diabetes 

Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people from all around the world. Gum disease is fundamentally related to diabetes. Diabetes makes gum disease worse, and gum disease makes diabetes worse. Diabetes restricts blood flow to the gums, which doesn’t allow the gums to stay in good shape. The gums don’t get enough healing cells through the blood, which makes gum disease worse. This is how diabetes makes gum disease worse. 

Solutions to stop gums from bleeding 

Regular dental hygiene 

Bleeding gums are a clear sign of improper dental hygiene. When plaque builds up along the gum line, gum inflammation occurs. If you don’t brush your teeth frequently or correctly, plaque can build up, which may lead to bacterial growth. Bacteria can cause tooth decay and gum disease. It would help if you brushed your teeth twice a day and included dental flossing in your oral care routine. 

Pregnant women need to pay special attention to their oral hygiene because hormonal changes during pregnancy may lead to the onset of gum disease and bleeding gums.

Here are some great tips for maintaining healthy teeth and gums 

  • Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide 

Most people keep hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting wounds. Did you know that it can also be used to get rid of plaque, enhance the health of gums, and stop gums from bleeding? If you find that your gums are bleeding, try rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide after brushing your teeth. Make sure you don’t swallow it. 

It has already been studied that people who used hydrogen peroxide for their gingivitis felt better and noticed that their symptoms, like redness and swelling, decreased greatly. This is a potent way to fight gum inflammation. 

  • Quit smoking

Smoking is related to a great number of diseases, including gum disease, heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. In the U.S., smoking is found to be one of the leading causes of gum disease. The CDC even recognizes this. Smoking reduces your immunity. Immunity helps your body to fight off infections and bacteria. Low immunity can lead to gum disease. 

If you want to maintain perfect oral health, you should quit smoking. If you are having a hard time quitting smoking, consult your doctor. 

  • Mitigate stress levels 

Links have been found between gum disease and emotional stress. Research has found that stress causes your immunity to dip. This means that the lower your immunity, the lower your body’s capacity to fight disease or gum infections. However, it is still not clear how much stress can trigger gum disease. Some also believe that emotional trouble or high stress can lead to general neglect of oral health, which may lead to the accumulation of plaque. If you are stressed, you may want to indulge in activities that mitigate it. You can also seek professional help. 

  • Make sure you are taking enough Vitamin C

Vitamin C is known to enhance the strength of your immune system, so consuming foods rich in Vitamin C may help you fight gum disease. The lack of Vitamin C can lead to gum bleeding even if you are taking good care of your teeth and gums. You can get Vitamin C from foods like oranges, red peppers, and carrots. If you want, you can also take a Vitamin C supplement. This essential vitamin and antioxidant ensures that the lining of your gums is protected. The recommended daily dosage of this essential vitamin for adults is around 65-90 milligrams/day. 

  • Know the importance of Vitamin K.

Did you know that Vitamin K is responsible for blood clotting? Supplementing with Vitamin K may help you with bleeding gums. A deficiency of vitamin K may cause your gums to start bleeding easily. If you want to have enough Vitamin K in your diet, include foods like spinach, collard greens, kale, and mustard greens in your diet. The recommended amount of Vitamin K per day is 120 micrograms for adult men. 


If you have been doing everything right and still experience gum bleeding, you may want to see your dentist. Your dentist may perform a deep dental cleaning procedure to remove accumulated plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. They may also recommend tests to check for any vitamin deficiencies or underlying health problems. 

If you have gum issues and need help, please reach out to us at Kirkland Premier Dentistry. Our experienced dentists will sit with you and create a treatment plan that suits you best. You can expect to find a comforting environment at our clinic. You can book a consultation right now. 

we'd love to hear from you

    Thank you!

    Your message has been received. We will respond as soon as possible.
    Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.