What Effects Does Bleeding Gums Have?

root pain

Most people will notice blood in the sink after they have brushed their teeth at least once during their lifetime. There are a range of different reasons why someone might experience bleeding gums. By far the most common is an inflammatory dental condition known as periodontal disease – more on that later. However, some of the other reasons why your gums could be bleeding include the following:


Many women find that their gums bleed slightly when they are pregnant. This is believed to be due to the fluctuations in hormones that she is experiencing and usually resolves itself shortly after she has delivered her baby.

The wrong toothbrush

Most people think that firm bristles are better for removing plaque, but they are actually more likely to do damage to the enamel of your teeth and the soft tissue of your gum, causing bleeding. Swap for a soft-bristled variety.

Brushing too hard

Equally, you don’t need to brush hard to remove plaque from your teeth. Doing so could cause your gums to bleed.

Flossing technique

Flossing involves cleaning deep in the gaps between your teeth, and if you haven’t flossed before or had a gap in your flossing routine, restarting the process can irritate these soft tissues and cause your gums to bleed.

Certain medications

Some medications are designed to thin the blood, making bleeding more likely.

Bleeding gums and periodontal disease

If your gums bleed regularly when you brush, and the causes listed above don’t seem to be behind it, you could be suffering from some degree of periodontal disease.

Also known as gingivitis, gum disease and periodontitis, periodontal disease occurs usually as a result of poor dental hygiene. When you fail to brush and floss your teeth properly, plaque begins to form on the teeth. This is a thin, colorless film that is filled with bacteria. If the plaque is not removed, it will spread to the soft tissue of the gums where the bacteria will irritate it and cause infection. Your body’s response is to send extra red blood cells to the area, but these mean that your teeth will bleed easily when brushed.

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that, left untreated, can cause irreversible damage to your oral health. This is because once the infection spreads, it can compromise the connective tissues and jaw bone that are responsible for holding your teeth in place. Many studies have also indicated that people who suffer from periodontal disease are more likely to be diagnosed with some of the following serious health conditions:

- Alzheimer’s disease

- Diabetes

- Heart disease

- High blood pressure

- Kidney/liver problems

- Rheumatoid arthritis

- Stroke

For this reason, your dentist will spend a great deal of time stressing the important of preventative dental care which could spare you from the effects of periodontal disease. This will include taking steps to ensure you have a robust oral hygiene routine, good habits for dental health and that you visit your dentist regularly so that your oral health can be monitored closely.

Gum disease is a common occurrence, but by investing time and energy into your dental care, it doesn’t have to be a foregone conclusion. If you would like further advice on what to do if your gums are bleeding, or how to protect yourself from periodontal disease, our friendly and reassuring team are on hand to help. Please contact us at your convenience.