Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Brush & Floss?

Have you noticed blood in the sink after brushing your teeth? Do your gums bleed after flossing? Anytime you see blood, it can be worrisome. It can happen for many reasons and some are more serious than others.

To figure out what you can do to prevent your gums from bleeding in the future, you must first determine what is causing it. Below are the most common reasons gum bleed and what you can do about each one.

If you want help treating these problems, call 256-274-8680 to visit our team at Charles F. Betts, Jr., DMD, Family Dentistry.


Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which is a very serious oral health problem. Swollen and tender gums are another common symptom of gingivitis.

Gingivitis occurs when the plaque that accumulates along your gum line isn’t removed properly. Harmful bacteria then feed off that plaque, leading to an infection of the gums. If caught early, gingivitis can be stopped and treated before it turns into gum disease.

You can prevent bleeding gums caused by gingivitis by practicing proper dental hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time and floss between your teeth daily.


Another possible cause of bleeding gums is medication, particularly blood-thinning medications. Blood-thinning medications lower your body’s ability to clot, making it easier for you to bleed.

Every time you visit our office for a checkup, let us know if you are taking any new medications. This can help us properly identify the cause of any oral problems you are experiencing, including bleeding gums. In some cases, we can recommend a different dental hygiene routine to help minimize or avoid gum bleeding.

New Dental Hygiene Routine

Bleeding gums can occur after a sudden change in your dental hygiene routine. If you are suddenly flossing more than you used to, you might notice minor gum bleeding until your gums become accustomed to the practice.

If you switch to a new toothbrush, especially one with hard bristles, you could also experience gum bleeding. In most cases, we recommend sticking with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should also avoid brushing too aggressively.

If your gums continue to bleed after brushing or flossing, give us a call so we can determine whether something else is causing it.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene doesn’t only refer to not brushing or flossing enough. Even just a temporary lapse in a proper dental care routine can lead to numerous oral health problems. Just one day without proper oral hygiene can cause otherwise healthy gums to bleed.

Things happen, but to prevent issues like bleeding gums, try to maintain good oral hygiene as best you can. Brush and floss daily, and get professional dental cleanings and exams regularly.

Poor Diet

Certain foods can also be responsible for bleeding gums. Some ingredients in processed foods can irritate your gums, leading to minor bleeding. Try to follow a diet full of natural foods and be sure to get the nutrients your body needs like calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, and magnesium.

If you are still concerned about your bleeding gums, don’t hesitate to give us a call. At Dr. Betts’s office in Decatur, AL, we are here to help. Call 256-274-8680 or contact us online to request an appointment.