Bleeding Gums When Brushing: Should I Be Worried?

You’re getting ready for bed, and you’re carrying out your nightly hygiene routine. You shower, comb your hair, and brush your teeth.

But when you spit out the toothpaste, you notice it’s an alarming shade of red. 

Uh oh. 

Discovering blood in your sink can be deeply unsettling. And if you look in the mirror, you might notice that your gums appear red and inflamed. 

Bleeding gums are a more serious concern than you might think. Left untreated, they can lead to other oral health problems that could result in tooth loss. 

Don’t worry—we’re here to explain what might be causing it and what you should do about it:

Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

The most common causes of bleeding or inflamed gums include:

  • Aggressive brushing. You’ve heard that a vigorous dental care routine will be great for your health. But when we say vigorous, we don’t mean the pressure you use to brush your teeth. It’s better to be gentle and never scrub! Your gums are delicate; they’re made of soft connective tissues. Brushing too hard will damage your gums and cause them to recede. Instead, use a brush with soft bristles and hold it at a 45° angle.
  • Flossing. It’s only when you visit the dentist that you remember, “Oh right! I should be flossing once a day.” And if you’ve just started flossing again, it’s normal for your gums to bleed for the first few days. But if it continues even as you settle into a routine, your bleeding gums may be caused by something else. 
  • Ill-fitting dentures. Over time, your custom-made dentures can change in shape. If so, they’ll start to scrape your gums and make them bleed. Ouch! If this is the case, take them in for an adjustment. 
  • Gum disease. If you’ve adjusted your dentures and started brushing more softly, but your bleeding gums still persist, you may have another problem on your hands: Gum disease.

What Causes Gum Disease?

If you suspect you might have gum/periodontal disease, you’re probably wondering what caused it. 

When your oral hygiene isn’t up to snuff, plaque builds up along the gum line. As it hardens into tartar, bacteria spread beneath the gum tissue. This creates an infection that spreads to the tissues and bones surrounding your teeth. In the most advanced stage of gum disease, teeth can loosen and fall out. 

Bleeding gums are one of the warning signs of periodontal disease. If you suspect you may be dealing with gum disease, contact your dentist right away.

What To Do About Bleeding Gums

Your gums keep bleeding, and you’re ready to do something about it. Where do you start? 

First of all, we recommend taking action as soon as possible. This can minimize any oral health issues associated with bleeding gums. 

If you’re not sure which steps to take, we’ve put together a few ideas for you. Here’s how to maintain good gum health: 

Use mouthwash

Even after brushing and flossing, bacteria may linger in your mouth. To get rid of them, finish off by swishing with mouthwash. We recommend using an alcohol-free mouthwash, which you can find at your local pharmacy. 


Below, we’ve listed a few tips on how to prevent bleeding gums in the first place:

  • Proper oral hygiene. You saw this one coming. Be sure to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once! This routine is associated with fewer dental health problems. When you’re brushing, try a gentle fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities and treat bleeding gums.
  • Use electric toothbrushes. An electric toothbrush is more effective at removing plaque. Many models feature a built-in timer, so you know exactly when you’re done brushing.
  • Protect yourself from mouth injuries. If you play football, soccer, or any contact sport, protect your teeth and gums with a mouthguard. 

Visit the dentist

You can’t fix bleeding gums on your own. To help bleeding gums heal, you must address the underlying issue first. 

For that, you need the help of a professional dentist. A dentist can take a closer look at your gums to find out what’s causing the problem. They can remove tartar, educate you about how to improve your oral hygiene, and create a treatment plan to resolve the issue.

Regular check-ups will ensure your teeth are in good health. One visit every 6 months is a good place to start. If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist might suggest a check-up every 4 months. 

Contact Your Dentist Sooner Than Later

To maintain good dental health and treat bleeding gums, your best bet is to see the dentist. At Dental House, our dentists in Saskatoon are always available when you need treatment. We offer restorative services to address periodontal health issues.

Our friendly dentists are here to help you achieve your dental goals. Book your appointment today!