Chandler Dentist 85286: Shumway Dental Care Family, Cosmetic

Why Your Gums Bleed When Brushing

02 Oct, 2020 periodontal-disease-treatment

Woman brushing teeth in front of mirror

Seeing a pink toothbrush or blood in the sink during your oral hygiene routine is upsetting. Bleeding gums are never normal, but most cases are easily treated with good dental care.

These are the main things that we look for when you tell us that your gums bleed when brushing your teeth.

Plaque Build-Up

This is the most common cause of bleeding gums.

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. In this stage, you may see gum swelling and bleeding.

Periodontitis is a more severe gum infection. The bleeding may happen more often if you reach the advanced stages of gum disease.

Gum disease treatment is carefully planned to address the severity of the problem. We treat minor cases with special teeth cleanings and medications.

Severe cases of gum disease may require surgery to reduce the pockets near your teeth that trap bacteria.

Brushing Too Hard

Many people grow up thinking that brushing harder is better, but aggressive toothbrushing is damaging to your teeth and gums.

Think of your gums as being more delicate than your skin and choose a toothbrush with soft bristles. We can also show you how to use the perfect amount of pressure to remove plaque without causing irritation.

Adding Flossing to Your Routine

We always love to hear that a patient is working hard to improve their oral health. Flossing will prevent the problems that cause gums to bleed. 

Starting flossing after skipping it for a long time can sometimes cause temporary bleeding. Usually, this will clear up on its own if you continue to floss every day. 

Let us know if it continues for longer than a few days. We can make sure that there is not something else causing your gums to continue bleeding.


Gums need proper blood flow to stay healthy. Smoking reduces blood flow in your gums. Nicotine and other toxins can also lower your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight off bacteria in your mouth. This increases the risk of developing gum disease

Heavy smoking also creates inflammation that leads to blood on your toothbrush.


The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can affect your gums. Pregnancy gingivitis symptoms include minor gum swelling and bleeding. This condition usually clears up after your baby arrives. 

In the meantime, continue with your recommended schedule for exams and teeth cleanings. Visiting the dentist is perfectly safe while you are pregnant.

Taking Certain Medications

Some medications affect how well blood clots. Blood thinners are mostly known for increasing the risk of noticeable bleeding from minor wounds. 

We ask our patients to let us know about the medications that they take. This assessment information determines if you are at risk of bleeding from the gums during your regular tooth brushing routine or treatments.

Gums can bleed for a variety of different reasons. Some of these reasons are serious and require prompt care from your dentist. Others may be temporary. Either way, we can do a comprehensive exam to uncover the best way to restore your gums to good health.