Are Your Gums Bleeding When You Brush Your Teeth?

Woman With Bleeding Gums

Gum bleeding is fairly common and is usually caused by something simple like tartar build-up. However, if your gums persistently bleed when you brush, it’s also possible that you have gum disease.

For this reason, it’s important that you don’t ignore bleeding gums and seek out medical attention if you’re concerned.

Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Brush My Teeth?

One of the less worrying causes is you simply not brushing your teeth often enough. This could lead to a build-up of plaque which allows bacteria to grow, and subsequently sensitivity and bleeding.

It could also be that you’re using a toothbrush that is either too stiff, frayed or worn to clean your teeth effectively. Alternatively, you may have been a bit rough when flossing.

In more serious cases, bleeding when you brush could be a sign of gum disease. Usually, this would be accompanied by bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, shrinking gums and your teeth becoming loose. Gum disease needs to be treated as soon as possible to prevent the problem from worsening.

Should I Stop Brushing If My Gums Bleed?

No, you should keep brushing if your gums start to bleed. In fact, it is advised that you focus on gently cleaning the bleeding area since that can help to tackle the build-up of plaque, which is likely to be the origin of the problem.

You might also want to consider paying particular attention to areas that have bled recently to make sure you’re effectively cleaning troublesome points.

How To Treat Bleeding Gums?

A short-term solution is to use wet gauze to stop the bleeding immediately, but you will need to look into a longer-term fix. If the bleeding is due to a lack of brushing or a faulty toothbrush, this is easy to fix by replacing your toothbrush or brush head and getting back on top of your brushing routine.

If you think the problem may be more serious, it’s always worth booking an appointment with your dentist.

Preventing Gum Bleeds

The first step to preventing bleeding gums is to make sure you have the right equipment. Check that your toothbrush isn’t too hard. Perhaps try one labelled sensitive or extra soft to assess whether tough bristles are the root of your problem.

It is widely recommended that you brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Brushing twice a day is an easy and important way to maintain your dental hygiene and prevent problems from developing.

It’s also recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months (or sooner if it looks worn or frayed) to ensure that it’s fit for use and that your two minutes aren’t being wasted due to an inadequate brush.

Make sure you have regular cleans with your dental professional, listen to their dental advice to prevent problems from worsening and book an appointment with your dentist if the bleeding persists or you feel any pain.



Dentist Dr John Cropley

Dr John Cropley

John is the principal dentist at Tomaree Dentistry in Nelson Bay. He graduated in Dentistry from the University of Adelaide and is a long-standing member of the Australian Dental Association (ADA). He is known for his gentle, calm and caring manner and offers services in prevention-based dentistry, emergency care, cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry including endodontics.


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Nelson Bay, NSW 2315
(02) 4981 3114
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