Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?

If your gums begin bleeding, head to the dentist immediately to find out why!

Rinsing blood out of your toothbrush can be pretty disconcerting. Unless you have a cut in your mouth, it's likely that your gums are the source of the blood. There are many things that can cause your gums to bleed:

  • Simply brushing too hard with a firm toothbrush
  • Pregnancy hormones
  • Flossing too aggressively
  • Brushing with a canker or ulcer

We all know that swollen, sore gums are not only a painful nuisance, but they could be a sign that something more serious is going on. The most common culprit is inadequate oral care leading to a buildup of bacteria and eventually plaque and then tartar. What follows tartar buildup is gingivitis, a condition in which your gums become swollen and inflamed. When your gums are in this condition, brushing could lead to bleeding. If this continues, it can lead to an even more serious condition called periodontitis, or gum disease.


Gum disease is a serious thing, but it can be treated if you catch it in time and step up your oral hygiene. Bleeding gums can also be the sign of much more dire conditions like leukemia and scurvy. Fortunately, this is much less common. If you find that your gums are bleeding when you brush, make a dental appointment immediately to find out the cause.


Lots More Information

Related Articles

  • "Bleeding gums - Overview." Umm.edu. September 18, 2011. http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/003062.htm
  • "Bleeding Gums: What it is - What causes it - What to do about it." Oramd.com. September 18, 2011. http://www.oramd.com/bleeding-gums.htm
  • "Gum Problem Basics: Sore, Swollen, and Bleeding Gums." Webmd.com. September 18, 2011. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/gum-problem-basics-sore-swollen-and-bleeding-gums