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Four Causes of Bleeding Gums

Woman with healthy gums

Your gums seem to always bleed when it’s time to brush or floss. Seeing “pink in the sink” has become a normal part of life, so much that you’re not worried by it anymore.

But bleeding gums can be an indication of serious oral health conditions that contribute to tooth loss or medical conditions (diabetes, pneumonia, and infertility are just a few examples.)

So, when it comes to bleeding gums, is there only one cause? Usually, no. But here are some of the most common reasons why our patients struggle with the problem:


The most prevalent reason for swollen and bleeding gums is an infection in the tissues due to plaque biofilm or calcified plaque, known as “tartar.” These areas of build-up harbor thousands of bacteria, triggering an immune response in the body.

To understand it more easily, you might compare it to a small cut on your hand that was never cleaned or medicated…it would only swell and continue to be infected until daily care and maintenance was implemented.

Scheduling routine dental cleanings at our clinic is a great place to start.

Blood Thinners, Anaemia

Certain types of medications or health conditions can cause people to bleed more easily. If you’re on blood-thinners prescribed by your physician, you may notice that you bleed and bruise more easily overall. Our anaemic patients also tend to have gums that look more pale, but bleed easily.

Food Caught Between Teeth

Rotated/crooked teeth or areas of gum recession make it easy for food to stick in certain places between meals. If not cleaned multiple times a day, it can trigger gingivitis.

Old Dental Restorations

An older, leaky dental filling can create a space between the restoration and the tooth where bacteria tend to thrive. Like the food catching between teeth, these areas are usually the first ones to exhibit any symptoms of irritation and bleeding.

Schedule an exam at PMD Dental Care to find out how to stop bleeding gums.