Image of a woman with bleeding gums

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums are not normal. Sore, swollen, and bleeding gums are all symptoms of gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Sore and painful gums can usually be treated through a variety of general dentistry treatments.

What Causes Gums to Bleed

Bleeding gums are the most common sign of gum disease; however, there may be other factors contributing to sore, swollen, or bleeding gums. Aggressive brushing or using a toothbrush with firm bristles can also cause gums to bleed. Whether you use a manual or electric toothbrush, always ensure you use soft nylon bristles. Also, use care when flossing and floss often to prevent gum soreness and/or bleeding.

Many women experience bleeding gums while pregnant due to hormonal changes. Pregnant women should still brush and floss daily, but use care if gums are sensitive to prevent bleeding. Pregnant women should still maintain routine dental visits.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can range from gum inflammation to serious disease that may result in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection.

Gingivitis starts with bacterial growth in the mouth and is the mildest form of gum disease. Bacteria in plaque build up causes the gums to become inflamed, which can lead to bleeding gums while brushing.

When left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. Periodontitis is where the inner layer of the gum and bone pulls away from the teeth to form pockets. These spaces collect debris and can become infected. A deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) is a procedure used to clean these deep pockets to remove debris and bacteria. In extreme cases, surgery may be required.

Gum Disease Symptoms

  • Bad breath
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive or loose teeth

Make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Never attempt to treat bleeding gums yourself or use over-the-counter medications without seeing the dentist first. The first step in treatment is to control the infection. Treatment will vary depending on the extent of the gum disease.

How to Keep Teeth and Gums Healthy

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss daily to remove plaque build up
  • Visit the dentist regularly for a cleaning and exam
  • Do not smoke

If you are experiencing bleeding gums or gum soreness, call 720-583-1425 to schedule an appointment today.