Improper Oral Hygiene Can Lead to Bleeding Gums

Improper Oral Hygiene Can Lead to Bleeding Gums

Improper dental hygiene is the number-one cause of bleeding gums. Gums that are not properly cared for can become red, swollen or bleed. To prevent this condition, it is necessary to understand what constitutes correct oral hygiene. Follow these tips to help improve dental hygiene as well as prevent or heal gums that bleed.

Practice proper oral care

While each mouth has different care needs, some aspects of oral care are universal.

Be gentle

Using a toothbrush with hard bristles, brushing the teeth or gums too rigorously or with too much force, and snapping dental floss against the gums can all cause the gums to bleed. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and take care when flossing. In this situation, simply adjusting oral hygiene tool usage should be enough to resolve the issue.

Brush regularly

When teeth are not brushed regularly, or at least twice daily, bacteria allowed to remain in the mouth can cause buildup known as plaque. This in turn can cause swelling and inflammation of the gums, which makes them more susceptible to bleeding. Too much plaque and bacteria in the mouth can also lead to gum infection, or gingivitis. One of the symptoms of gingivitis is bleeding gums. Until the plaque is removed, the gums will most likely continue to bleed.

Take note of medications

Certain medications such as bloodthinners can increase the risk of gums that bleed because they make the body more prone to bleeding in general. Take special precautions when brushing and flossing to avoid damaging the gums if a medication specifically states it raises the chances of bleeding. Without proper oral care, gums under these conditions can lead to more serious oral and medical conditions.

Consider other medical conditions

The following medical conditions can result in gums that bleed:

  • Diabetes
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Leukemia
  • Low vitamin C levels
  • Hemophilia
  • Lack of vitamin K

If the gums are bleeding regularly despite maintaining proper oral care and abstaining from medications, it can be a good idea to check with a medical professional about the presence of one of these conditions. If you have one of these medical conditions, proper oral hygiene becomes even more critical, as contracting gingivitis or another oral disease can be more likely.

Stay regular

Even those who brush and floss regularly can experience gums that bleed after just a brief lapse in routine. Just one day without brushing or flossing might be all it takes for bacteria to build up or gums to become irritated and susceptible to bleeding. Especially those more prone to this issue, such as those with other medical conditions or taking certain medications, should take care never to skip brushing or flossing the teeth at least twice daily.


Although bleeding gums may not seem like a serious condition, it can lead to further dental concerns or be a symptom of an undiagnosed illness. Proper oral hygiene is a critical component not only of healthy gums but also of an overall healthy lifestyle. Visit a dental professional regularly and maintain healthy dental care to reduce the risk of this condition.

Request an appointment or call Phoenix Family Dentistry at 602-547-9007 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.


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