Fox Dental | Dentist in Lemoyne, New Cumberland and Camp Hill


Why do my gums bleed?

Bleeding gums may be a sign of poor dental hygiene. Gums become inflamed and bleed when there’s a buildup of plaque along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that covers your teeth and gums. And if you don’t brush or floss enough, the bacteria can spread and cause tooth decay or gum disease.

Causes of bleeding gums

Several things can cause red, tender, or bleeding gums. The most common cause is gingivitis. Factors like brushing too vigorously, injury, pregnancy, and inflammation can contribute to bleeding gums. Gum inflammation can cause redness, swelling, and tenderness, and it can be a sign of periodontal disease. Never ignore bleeding gums. When gum disease is left untreated, it can advance to later stages of periodontal disease that require more extensive treatment.

Ways to Stop Bleeding Gums

  • Rinse with hydrogen peroxide – It can remove plaque, promote gum health, and stop gum bleeding. If your gums are bleeding, rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide after brushing, but don’t swallow the solution.
  • Stop smoking– Smoking is a major cause of severe gum disease in the United States, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Reduce stress level – One study suggests a link between periodontal disease and emotional stress. According to the researchers, emotional stress has a negative impact on the immune system. 
  • Rinse with salt water– Because bacteria and inflammation in the mouth causes gum disease, regularly rinsing your mouth with a mixture of warm salt water may also reduce bacteria and stop gum bleeding.
  • Increase your intake of vitamin C– Not getting enough vitamin C in your diet may worsen bleeding if you have gum disease.
  • Increase your intake of vitamin K– Vitamin K is an important nutrient because it helps your blood clot. A deficiency can cause easy bleeding.
  • Apply a cold compress– A cold compress applied to the gum line can reduce swelling and restrict blood flow to stop bleeding. 
  • Eat fewer carbs– Carbohydrates and sugary foods encourage plaque and the growth of bacteria. The more plaque accumulated on your gums, the more likely you are to have bleeding gums.
  • Drink green tea– Green tea contains catechin, a natural antioxidant that can lower the body’s inflammatory response to bacteria in the mouth.

When to see a doctor

Identifying the cause of bleeding gums is key to determining the most appropriate treatment.

You should see a dentist if gum bleeding doesn’t improve within 7 to 10 days. You may need a deep dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar and promote gum healing.