Do your gums bleed easily? It might be because of something simple, like using the wrong technique when you brush or floss. Or it could be a sign of a health condition you need to check out.

Common Causes

You may have bleeding gums if you:

  • Brush too hard or your toothbrush isn't soft enough
  • Just started a flossing routine and your gums aren't used to it yet
  • Take certain medications, like blood thinners
  • Have inflamed gums because you're pregnant (pregnancy gingivitis)
  • Have dentures that don't fit well

Gingivitis

Bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis, or inflammation of your gums. It's a common and mild form of gum disease, and it's caused by a buildup of plaque at your gumline.

If you have gingivitis, your gums may be irritated, red, and swollen. They may bleed when you brush your teeth.

You can get rid of this problem by taking good care of your teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss every day, rinse daily with an antibacterial mouthwash, and see your dentist regularly.

Periodontitis

If you don't take care of your gingivitis, it can lead to periodontal disease, or periodontitis, a long-term gum condition that damages the tissue and bone that support your teeth.

If you have periodontitis, your gums may become inflamed and infected and pull away from the roots of your teeth.

When your gums bleed easily, it could be a sign of periodontal disease. Your teeth may get loose or separate. You could also get bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite, and red, swollen, tender gums.

If you don't treat periodontal disease, you can lose some of your teeth.

Diabetes

Bleeding or swollen gums can be a warning sign of type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

When you have this disease, your mouth isn't as powerful at fighting germs, so you're more likely to get infections like gum disease. High blood sugar levels that go along with diabetes make it harder for your body to heal, which can make gum disease worse.

Leukemia

Bleeding gums can be a sign of leukemia, a type of cancer.

Your blood platelets help your body stop bleeding. If you have leukemia, your platelet count is low. That makes it harder for you to stop bleeding in different parts of your body, including your gums.

Thrombocytopenia

If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth and it doesn't stop on its own, it may be a sign of thrombocytopenia.

If you have this condition, your body may not have enough platelets to form a blood clot. That can lead to too much bleeding in different parts of your body, including your gums.

Hemophilia or Von Willebrand Disease

If you have bleeding gums or heavy bleeding when you get a small cut or have dental work, it may be a sign of a disorder like hemophilia or von Willebrand disease.

With these conditions, your blood doesn't clot properly, so you may have bleeding gums.