When Should You Be Concerned About Bleeding Gums?

man having toothache

Bleeding gums are the symptom of several conditions. The most common culprit is poor dental hygiene. However, it could also occur due to vitamin deficiencies, new toothbrushes, or inflammation. These causes are easily corrected at home, and you will see changes. On the other hand, your bleeding gums could be a sign of a more sinister reason.

Dental Conditions That Cause Bleeding Gums


If you have poor oral health and dental care hygiene, this is the first condition that may occur. The condition develops when plaque collects on your teeth for a long time. The plaque becomes a breeding ground for bacteria that irritates your gums.

After some time, the plaque hardens into calculus. When this happens, your gums are more irritated and usually bleed when you brush. This accumulation of plaque and calculus on your gums causes gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by soreness in the gums, puffy gums, and bleeding gums.


If you develop gingivitis and do not change or improve your oral hygiene, it advances to periodontitis. Periodontitis affects the gums, the connective tissue of your teeth, and the jawbone. The extreme form of this condition can cause loose teeth, and your teeth may fall out.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Some vitamin deficiencies—especially vitamins A and K—can lead to bleeding gums. If you have bleeding gums, you can ask your doctor to check your vitamin A and K levels. It would be best if you did this to ensure your dental hygiene routine is effective and you maintain it.

Your doctor will recommend a vitamin-rich diet to restore your body’s reserves. Some foods rich in vitamin C are:

  • Strawberries.

  • Citrus juices and fruits.

  • Broccoli.

  • Tomatoes.

  • Bell peppers.

  • Potatoes.

Those rich in vitamin K are:

  • Kale.

  • Lettuce.

  • Spinach.

  • Mustard greens.

  • Watercress.

  • Swiss chard.

  • Olive oil.

  • Canola oil.

  • Soybeans.

New Toothbrush

Getting a new toothbrush may lead to bleeding gums. The stiff bristles on your new brush may be too hard and stiff for your gums. Hard and stiff bristles damage the gum tissues, resulting in bleeding.

To remedy this, you can use a soft-bristled brush, or you can brush more gently.

What Other Conditions Can Cause Bleeding Gums?


Stress can cause your gums to bleed, but this only happens to some people. Stress can lead to inflammation of the gum tissue, exposing them to damage and trauma. Stress also leads to suppressed immunity that can expose you to bacterial infection. Because your mouth has so much bacteria, your gums may begin to bleed from the bacteria.


Anemia is a condition characterized by a low red blood cell count in the body. A form of the disease is pernicious anemia, commonly associated with the malabsorption of B12. This malabsorption can lead to bleeding gums in patients.

Oral Cancer and Leukemia

Usually, oral cancer presents through eruptions on the gums, tongue, and the inside of the cheek. The eruptions are typically painless, but they may result in bleeding gums.

Leukemia is another reason your gums may be bleeding. The gums bleed because of platelet deficiency and produce nonfunctional or immature leukocytes. You may also have an enlarged spleen, lymph nodes, and liver if you have leukemia.

For more on when you should be concerned about bleeding gums, visit Dr. Sam’s Premier Dentistry at our office in Sherman, Texas. Call 903-708-6400 to book an appointment today.