General Family Dentist | Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Gladstone, Happy Valley and Portland, OR

Kevin H. Speer, D.D.S.
2250 SE Oak Grove Blvd.
Milwaukie, OR 97267

Mon-Thur
8am–5pm

Bleeding Gums Are Not Normal

Cartoon image of teeth with sad faces and bleeding gums as a result of gum disease

If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, it is important for you to realize that this is not a normal occurrence. Bleeding gums are a symptom that indicates something is not right with your dental health. There can be several different causes for bleeding gums and the only way to know for sure why your gums are bleeding is by visiting your dentist.

The most common reason your gums would bleed is as a result of gum disease. Gum disease is extremely common and many people who are affected by gum disease do not even realize that they have it. This is usually because gum disease does not cause any kind of pain, so it is easy to ignore. However, gums that bleed while being brushed or flossed could be an indication of gum disease.

Gum disease occurs when plaque and bacteria build up on your teeth and cause the gums to become infected. This infection starts out as gingivitis and eventually can progress to periodontitis. In the early stages, the gums may become tender, swollen, and can start bleeding during brushing or flossing.

It is important to treat gum disease early on before it develops further. Advanced gum disease can have serious consequences, including teeth or bone loss. Since this is the most common reason for bleeding gums, it is important that you schedule a consultation with your dentist as soon as you notice your gums are bleeding. The sooner gum disease is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.

Although not as common, there are some other possible reasons that your gums may bleed. These reasons include: anemia, elevated hormone levels because of pregnancy, cancer treatment, and systemic conditions or diseases. Specifically pregnant women and diabetic individuals have been found to be at a higher risk for gum disease, so it is important to rule out gum disease to determine the true cause.

In addition, some medications can also cause the gums to bleed. Blood thinning medications such as warfarin, aspirin, and heparin decrease the viscosity of the blood making individuals taking these medications bleed easier than usual.

Another possible reason for bleeding gums is a change in dental routine. Things like forgetting to floss and then picking it up again after a few missed days or changing a toothbrush can cause the gums to bleed temporarily. You will want to make sure that you choose a brush with soft bristles. If you believe your toothbrush is causing your gums to bleed, you will want to replace it with a softer brush to avoid further damage to your gums or enamel.

One final cause of bleeding gums could be a result of a poorly fitting dental appliance, such as dentures. If something is not fitting correctly, it can be exerting extra pressure or rubbing on a certain area, causing irritation. This irritation can cause the gums to bleed.

Ultimately, there are a few factors that can cause your gums to bleed. None of these are normal and it is important to find the root of the problem. Only your dentist can help you to find the cause of the problem and they may even be able to help you fix it. If your gums have been bleeding, do not hesitate to book an appointment at Oak Grove Dental Center today!