What Causes Bleeding Gums When Brushing Teeth

If you’ve begun to notice that your gums bleed when brushing your teeth, or continue to bleed shortly after, you’re likely a little concerned.

Of course, this isn’t uncommon and bleeding or reddened gums are experienced by a lot of people after we brush and floss our teeth. As you might already know, our gums are rather sensitive to things such as plaque and bacteria build up along, particularly along the gum line.

That said, we’ll take a look below at bleeding gums when brushing and what might be causing this to happen to you.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for professional dental advice. If you or a family member are suffering from routine gum bleeding when brushing, it’s always best to speak with your dentist for their expert advice.

A Few Causes of Gum Bleeding

Off the top, there are a few different reasons your gums could be bleeding, and the good news is that not all of these causes are a sign of major oral health problems.

A Little Too Rough

As outlined by a number of dentists, you can simply be causing your gums to bleed by being a little too rough in the morning or evening when you brush your teeth.

No matter how healthy your teeth and gums are, they are still susceptible to being injured, scraped and scratched if you’re too vigorous.

You may have flossed a little too deep into your gums or scraped the gum line with the head of your toothbrush and caused the bleeding this way. That in mind, to deal with this cause of bleeding, just be a little more careful when it comes time to brush your teeth.

One other thing to consider is that you might want to invest in a softer toothbrush, a different kind of floss or an electric toothbrush.

If you aren’t too comfortable with string floss or find that your toothbrush bristles are a little too stiff and causing the gum bleeds, switch these out for something you’re more comfortable using.


A second reason or cause behind gum bleeding could be gingivitis.

This reason is a little more serious than the accidental scraping and scratching of your gum line, though with immediate action at your dentist’s office you’ll be able to get on top of this issue quite quickly.

Keep in mind that routine bleeding that occurs every time you brush is not something that is common, and you could be dealing with gingivitis. This blood is essentially letting you know that there’s a build up of bacteria in your gums causing swelling and irritation.

When you go to brush your teeth and gums, or floss the area, you’re essentially irritating your gums and causing them to redden and bleed.


The third and most severe reason behind your gum bleeds could be periodontitis.

This is a more severe issue than gingivitis and should certainly be put at the top of your list when it comes to oral health. You may already know, this issue or disease stems from unchecked gingivitis and is essentially an issue wherein your gums become chronically inflamed, sore and can begin to recede.

As with gingivitis, brushing your teeth and along your gum line can be painful and will almost certainly bleed quite a bit depending on how thoroughly you brush.

What are Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Now that we have mentioned these two issues above, we’ll break down some issues and symptoms you might want to keep an eye out for.

To start, gingivitis is essentially the earlier-onset of gum disease where you’ll notice a few different things begin to occur:

  • Gum Swelling
  • Gum Bleeding
  • Bad Breath
  • Receding Gums
  • Regularly Sore Gums
  • Red Gums Rather than Pink

That said, if you are noticing these symptoms, it is certainly worth booking an appointment with your dentist to get on to the issue before it turns into periodontitis.

On to periodontitis now, and we’ll take a look at a few of the signs and symptoms you may experience with this disease:

  • Gum Swelling
  • Very Red or Purple Gums
  • Easily Irritated Gums Which Bleed
  • Routine and Regular Gum Pain
  • Bad Breath
  • Soreness in the Gums When Chewing
  • Loosening Teeth
  • Mild to Severe Gum Recession

With those symptoms out of the way, there’s a good chance you could be dealing with either periodontitis or the onset of the issue if you notice pain in the gums and routine bleeding when you brush your teeth.


As you can see, there are a few reasons you could be seeing your gums bleed when you brush your teeth. With some of these issues being rather easy to deal with and others being severe, it’s always a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist.

You’ll always want to be sure that your bleeding gums are simply a result of being a little harsh on them, rather than the possibility of dealing with gum disease.

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