Are Bleeding Gums Serious?

Good daily oral hygiene is the key to keeping your gums healthy and helping to prevent gum disease. However, many adults experience some lighting bleeding from time to time after they brush or floss their teeth. While this is common, sometimes bleeding gums are a sign of a more serious condition and require professional treatment. How do you know when bleeding gums are serious? Below are more details on some common causes of bleeding gums and how to know when you need to get professional help.


Common Causes of Bleeding Gums

Of the many possible causes of swollen and bleeding gums, the most common is the build-up of plaque along the gumline. Plaque contains bacteria that irritates the gum tissue. A few other common causes of sensitive gums include:

  • Poor oral hygiene practices
  • Using a hard bristled or worn out toothbrush
  • Flossing too aggressively
  • Certain medications, such as aspirin, blood thinners, or ibuprofen
  • Early-stage gum disease


The Best Treatments for Bleeding Gums

If you have recently noticed your gums are starting to bleed, there are a few tricks you can try at home before seeking out professional help. A few approaches to stop bleeding and treat irritated gums include:

  • Cold compresses: Applying a small ice pack, or an ice cube against swollen, bleeding gums can help sooth discomfort, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding.
  • Use mouthwash: Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash can help both treat and prevent bleeding gums. The mouthwash will kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. Mouthwash can also help to prevent gingivitis, or the early stage of gum disease.
  • Warm saltwater rinse: Rinsing with warm salt water a few times a day can also help reduce bacteria in the mouth. To create the rinse, add half of a teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water and swish around in your mouth for several seconds.
  • Switch your toothbrush: If you have gums that frequently bleed lightly, you may have sensitive gums. One approach to reducing irritation is to try switching to an extra soft toothbrush. It is also important to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.
  • Flossing gently every day: The first few times you floss it may cause light bleeding because the gums are not used to the stimulation. After a few days of consistent flossing, the bleeding will stop and maintaining flossing will go a long way to keeping your gums healthy.


When Are Bleeding Gums Serious?

If you notice your gums are swollen, tender, and bleeding regularly you should check-in with your dentist and schedule an appointment. Bleeding in the gums should not happen every day. If your gums are swollen and bleeding for more than 10 days, it is time to schedule a visit to see your dentist. Additional symptoms, such as fever, swelling, or a bad taste in the mouth are also worth concern. Keeping regularly scheduled dental visits every 6 months can help prevent early-stage gum disease, and keep your mouth and teeth healthy. If gum disease is untreated it can lead to more serious infection and eventually tooth loss.

Why Are My Gums Bleeding