What Causes Bleeding Gums?

Close to 60 percent of Americans have experienced bleeding gums. And it’s interesting to note that one in three people believe the condition is normal. But take it from Specialty Dental Care in Omaha Specialty Dental – bleeding gums are the furthest thing from normal. Believe it or not, there are around 17 conditions that can contribute to gum disease, including serious illnesses leukemia and cirrhosis. But for the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on conditions that are, most common, and dental-related.

Listed in order from least-concerning to most-concerning, here are five common causes of bleeding gums.

A Different Flossing Approach

Changing up your flossing approach can cause bleeding gums. For example, if you floss regularly and then stop for a few days, your gums are liable to bleed. Similarly, if you increase your flossing regimen in an effort to remove even more plaque and food from your teeth, bleeding can occur. In both scenarios, the bleeding should stop within a week, once your gums get used to your new approach.

Using a New Toothbrush

Flossing isn’t the only routine-change that can cause one’s gums to bleed. Longtime users of a soft-bristled toothbrush may encounter bleeding gums when switching to a firmer brush. In situations like this, we recommend returning to a soft-bristled toothbrush (or a medium-bristled brush if you find that it doesn’t cause bleeding) and speaking with our Professionals serving Omaha Specialty Dental about which toothbrush you should stick with.


During pregnancy, some women experience “pregnancy gingivitis” – defined by the American Pregnancy Association (APA) as being related to “hormonal changes during pregnancy which alter the body’s response to the bacteria that cause gum disease.” According to the APA, these symptoms should disappear after the baby is born. In the meantime, Specialty Dental Care suggests that sufferers of pregnancy gingivitis in Omaha Specialty Dental adhere to a regular brush and flossing routine, and stick to a regular dental checkup schedule.

Prescription Medications

Blood-thinning medications, per the American Dental Association, are a possible contributor to bleeding gums. Blood-thinners are effective for their particular purpose, but the downside is that they reduce the blood’s ability to clot and could lead to easier bleeding in the gums and other parts of the body. Our Omaha Specialty Dental team believes that if you are taking a blood-thinning medication, you should talk with us and your doctor immediately if/when your gums begin bleeding.


This is the big one, and it’s the hardest to cure. Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, occurs when plaque buildup on the teeth and gum-line reach a point that the gums become infected. Signs of gingivitis include swollen, tender gums that turn red, eventually leading to bleeding. Combating gingivitis involves instituting sound brushing and flossing habits, along with regular dental cleaning appointments. It’s important to tackle gingivitis right away, because the longer you have an infection, the greater your chances of contracting periodontitis – a reversible, but incurable condition that could lead to lost teeth, bone and dental surgery if not treated and stabilized.

If you’ve experienced bleeding gums, make an appointment today with Specialty Dental Care, serving Omaha Specialty Dental and surrounding cities.