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What to Do If Your Gums Are Bleeding

Pay attention to when and how often your gums bleed

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If you notice your gums are bleeding, it usually means there is some underlying gum inflammation in your mouth. While bleeding gums can be common, it doesn’t mean it’s something you should necessarily ignore. The redness and swelling can often be painful and cause irritation in the mouth, or even sometimes indicate gum disease.

Once you understand the possible reasons that your gums are bleeding, you and a dental provider can take steps to find a treatment solution that works for your lifestyle.

Why Do My Gums Bleed?

Man brush teeth and gums

Before you can immediately know what the right course of treatment is best for you, you will need to understand what common causes of bleeding or irritated gums are.


Flossing is an important part of oral hygiene and can help to prevent cavities. However, your gums could bleed if it’s the first time in a while since you last flossed. Flossing too hard or using incorrect flossing techniques can also irritate the gums and lead to them bleeding.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Deficiency in vitamin C or vitamin K could also lead gums to bleed. These vitamins can help boost your immune system and its ability to fight off harmful inflammation or dental diseases. Maintaining a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables can usually give people adequate amounts of these vitamins but if you are unable to meet the daily requirements, supplements can help meet those needs.

Gum Disease

Sometimes gum disease or other illnesses cancause bleeding gums>, which typically require specialized treatment. The buildup of plaque from poor oral hygiene practices can lead to gum disease. While gum disease is reversible, it could become a permanent problem for your oral health if not treated right away.

What To Do About Bleeding Gums

You can take many different actions to address bleeding gums. These are the most common treatments.

Rinse With Salt Water

Rinsing your mouth with salt water, especially if it’s warm, can help reduce inflammation. Salt water can also help reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth that could cause toothache and gum inflammation. Reducing inflammation can also offer relief from overly sensitive gums.

Increase Vitamin C & K Consumption

A dentist treats the teeth of a pregnant woman, who is reclined in a dentist’s chair.

Increasing the consumption of vitamins K and C will help reduce oral inflammation and fight off harmful infections. Some foods that contain vitamin C or K include:

  • Bell peppers
  • Oranges
  • Kiwis
  • Spinach
  • Kale

Stop Smoking Habits

Smoking tobacco and other products can reduce your body’s ability to fight off infections like gum disease and it can also lead to other illnesses such as oral cancer. Reducing or quitting smoking can help your gums properly heal from chronic inflammation. As they begin to heal, your gums will stop bleeding.

Apply a Cold Compress

A cold compress pressed against the mouth can reduce the swelling and redness that often accompanies bleeding gums. This will help calm any bleeding from physical cuts or trauma near the mouth and restrict the excess blood flow from the gums.

Use an Electric Toothbrush

While they cost more than a traditional toothbrush initially, an electric toothbrush can be worth that cost for many. Electric toothbrushes may help clear away more plaque than you could with a manual toothbrush. This will help keep your teeth clean and plaque-free for the long run.

Floss Regularly

If you floss regularly, your teeth and gums will become healthier and less reactive. Flossing can clear up any excess food left in your teeth so bacteria isn’t able to grow out of control in your mouth.

Why You Should See a Dentist

While sometimes bleeding gums can be fixed by changing some at-home behaviors, sometimes you may need to seek professional help.

Treatment of Ginvitius or Other Inflammation

If you have gingivitis or gum disease, a dentist can find a specific treatment tailored to the severity of your gum health. Gum inflammation left unattended on your own could grow worse over the months or years without regular consultations and progress checkups.

Mouth Cleaning, Plaque Cleanup

Coming to the dentist for regular teeth cleanings can help keep your plaque cleaned up and your teeth and gums less irritated. Be sure to come in consistently for a professional cleaning every six months.

Routine Dental Appointments

While your minor gum bleeding may not seem like an emergency, having regular dental appointments and cleanings will avoid the progression of gum disease or another serious illness.

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Dr. Standish has been serving Clay County patients at Eagle Harbor Dental for over 40 years. His daughters Dr. Kelly & Dr. Erin joined the practice and they’ve been creating beautiful smiles as a family ever since. With extensive educations and memberships, our dentists are the best that Fleming Island has to offer.


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