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Top 5 Reasons for Gum Bleeding

Posted in Adults, Braces, British Columbia, General, Orthodontics, Tips & Advice, Treatment Process

Everyone will experience bleeding gums at some point in their life, but there are a few common causes that can be avoided. In this blog post, our BC orthodontists share 5 reasons why your gums may be bleeding and prevention options.

Bleeding in Gums

Do you experience bleeding gums easily or often? There are a variety of things that could be the cause. Some culprits are very mild and can easily be fixed, however, other causes may be more serious and require the help of a dental professional.

Poor Oral Hygiene & Gingivitis

Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing at least once a day will help reduce the buildup of tartar and plaque, reducing your risk of gingivitis and bleeding gums.

Gingivitis can cause swollen, tender, and sometimes bleeding gums when flossing and brushing. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. When plaque on your teeth and at the gumline is not removed by brushing and flossing, it can infect the gums. Thankfully, gingivitis is reversible with treatment with your dental hygienist and dentist.

Improper oral hygiene is the leading cause of gingivitis, and subsequently, gum bleeding. If not addressed, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease. The good news is you can prevent this outcome by seeking help from your dental health professional as soon as the early signs of gingivitis emerge.

Not Using the Right Toothbrush

‌Many health professionals recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush to help prevent gum bleeding. If you’re using a toothbrush with medium or firm bristles, it may be too rough on your gums, resulting in bleeding.

Although it may be hard to believe, a soft brush will get your teeth just as clean as one with firm bristles. As a matter of fact, soft bristles can do a better job of cleaning below the gumline.


If you’re someone who smokes, you may experience bleeding gums more often than others. Along with all the other negative consequences of smoking, it increases your risk for gum disease and tooth sensitivity.

If you’re a smoker and your gums are consistently bleeding, talk to your doctor for help quitting the habit.

Poor Brushing Technique

Some people may select a toothbrush that’s too firm because they think it will help get their teeth as clean as possible. Similarly, sometimes people brush too hard regardless of the type of toothbrush they have in the interest of good oral hygiene. However, brushing too hard doesn’t just cause bleeding gums, but it can also be the cause of sensitivity, pain, and enamel deterioration.

If you’re experiencing bleeding gums when brushing, try thinking of brushing like giving your teeth a gentle massage as opposed to scrubbing them.


If your gums tend to bleed when brushing or flossing, it may not necessarily be your fault. Sometimes, certain medications like blood thinners are a possible cause of bleeding gums. Blood-thinning medications decrease the blood's ability to clot, which can lead to bleeding.

During your regular dental and doctor appointments, let your dentist and physician know about your experience and the medicines you're taking. If the bleeding becomes more serious, contact your physician immediately.

Do you have braces and are consistently experiencing bleeding gums? Contact our BC orthodontists to book a consultation. We can help advise you on the best way to make sure your teeth and gums get the care they need!

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