3 Easily Overlooked Causes of Bleeding Gums

Categories: Gum Disease

bleeding gumsSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

If your gums look red and irritated, if you’ve noticed pink in your toothpaste while brushing your teeth or if your gums easily bleed when flossing, then today’s blog post is for you! Bleeding from anywhere in your body — including your gums — is cause for concern. Healthy tissue should not bleed. If your gums are bleeding, it’s important for our family dentist in Santa Cruz to pinpoint the cause so we can move forward with a proper treatment plan. This will both stop the bleeding and, with proper follow-up care, prevent the issue from reoccurring.

So what are some of the more common reasons why gums bleed?

Let’s take a look today

  1. A new or hard-bristled brush

Using the wrong kind of toothbrush, even if it’s brand new, can damage your gums. If you don’t notice a difference after a few days, switch to a soft-bristled brush, which is recommended by the American Dental Association and our Scotts Valley family dentist.

  1. Overzealous brushing

If you’re brushing your teeth too hard or aggressively, you can damage your gums and even weaken the enamel (the hard, protective coating) of your teeth. If the bristles on your toothbrush are flattened or splayed, you’re brushing too hard.

  1. Gum disease

Bleeding gums are often a sign of the early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis. Gum disease begins from a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. Red, puffy or tender gums are often the first signs of gum disease. While gingivitis can be uncomfortable, the disease can usually be treated at this stage by simply paying closer attention to your oral health regimen: Brush your teeth twice day for two minutes each time, floss daily and see the dentist twice a year for routine checkups and professional cleanings.

Left untreated, gingivitis can grow into periodontitis, which is far more serious and has stages that worsen over time. By the time gum disease is diagnosed as periodontitis, permanent damage has occurred. Pockets form between the gums and teeth, turning them into breeding grounds for bacteria. Dental plaque that dentists usually address during checkups and cleanings has, instead, turned into stubborn tartar that cannot be brushed or flossed away at home. A dentist like ours in Los Gatos or a periodontist will likely recommend a deep clean of the teeth, which is an intensive cleaning that includes scraping around the roots of the teeth. If periodontitis is left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, and it increases your risk of developing chronic health problems like heart disease and stroke.


Proper oral hygiene, including routine visits to our team at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, will prevent the development of gum disease. If you’ve noticed your gums are bleeding, give us a call at (831) 824-5111 today. We can book an appointment and help you pinpoint the cause — and ways to treat — your bleeding gums.