Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

5 Explanations for Bleeding Gums

Poor Hygiene

Dr. Stuart Zaller, a dentist in Reisterstown, Md., says that the leading cause for bleeding gums is poor oral hygiene. "Your cleaning regimen needs to include more than just brushing, as brushing alone won't remove all the plaque, tartar and calculus that accumulates on your teeth at the gum line," he explains. "Think of plaque as a splinter under your skin. The longer you leave it there, the more likely it is that it will become infected."

Zaller insists that flossing daily isn't an option, but a necessity. "Keeping your mouth and teeth clean and disease-free is not a one size fits all protocol," he says. "Just like some people need to workout for two hours a day to stay thin, some people need to brush and floss several times a day to avoid bleeding gums and other dental problems."

Brushing at least twice a day is a must for everyone, but if your gums have recently started bleeding, try brushing after every meal. Your gum health will likely improve, and you'll probably see difference in how often your gums bleed.