When should you worry about bleeding gums?

Bleeding gums can occur after very aggressive toothbrushing. But they can also be a sign of a more serious health problem.

Gingivitis, inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria, is manifested, among other things, by bleeding; the same explanation applies to periodontitis (gingivitis that has degenerated by attacking the supporting structures of the tooth) and canker sores.

Bleeding gums are also one of the first symptoms of oral cancer. Finally, be aware that pregnancy can sensitize the gums and cause bleeding, especially from the third month of pregnancy.

Some people are more prone to bleeding gums. These are smokers, diabetics, people using oral contraceptives, antidepressants or blood thinners. Stress and age are also factors that must be considered in this matter.

Bleeding gums and pain

If the bleeding is punctual and caused by poor brushing of the teeth (too hard, improper use of dental floss or interdental brushes), it is sufficient to correct oral hygiene habits.

On the other hand, if the bleeding is recurrent and/or accompanied by other symptoms (shortness of breath, abnormal coloring or inflammation of the gums, pain, etc.), it is very important to consult the dentist as soon as possible. Likewise, if the bleeding is caused by an ill-fitting orthodontic appliance, it is mandatory to consult the orthodontist to correct the shape of the orthodontic appliance.

During the night

Bleeding gums at night are often caused by brushing too hard before bed. If the bleeding is repeated, it is recommended to consult a doctor.

If this symptom is not accompanied by others, it may be enough to correct the way you brush your teeth: less intensively and with a suitable brush.

Acute or recurrent

Bleeding gums can be acute or recurrent. We speak of acute bleeding when it is punctual following very strong brushing or chewing too hot or spicy food. In this case, the bleeding is short-lived and stops spontaneously.

Recurrent bleeding, also called “chronic bleeding from the gums”, is more concerning and requires medical consultation. It is usually caused by inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) which, if not treated properly, can develop into periodontitis, a disease that leads to tooth loss.


To stop acute bleeding, an antiseptic mouthwash should suffice. In case of chronic bleeding, the cause must be determined. If it is gingivitis or periodontitis, the dentist will determine the treatment to stop the bleeding.

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