763.546.1301 • info@bassettcreekdental.com

Why do Gums Bleed When Flossing and Brushing?

Bassett Creek Dental - Why do gums bleed

Bleeding gums while brushing and flossing is a common experience for many people and far too many of us have accepted as the norm – when I floss my gums bleed. However, this is not healthy. While very common, bleeding gums are a problem. Healthy gums generally will not bleed from flossing and brushing. It’s important to understand the reasons why gums may bleed and learn how to treat and prevent this from happening.

Why Do Gums Bleed?

Gum Disease

Gingivitis may be the culprit. This is the early stage of gum disease, and is caused by plaque buildup at the gumline. Plaque contains bacteria that attack the healthy tissue around the teeth, leading to inflammation, which may cause your gums to bleed. If left untreated this can lead to periodontitis, a more serious gum disease​​.

Improper Brushing or Flossing 

Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can irritate or damage your gums, leading to bleeding. Similarly, aggressive flossing can also cause harm to the gums. Specifically if you feel a snap of the floss onto the gumline, this may be damaging the gums.


Certain medications, like blood thinners, can increase the likelihood of bleeding gums. 

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene habits like irregular brushing and flossing, use of tobacco products, and the consumption of sugary beverages and candies can all lead to a buildup of plaque on the gum line. This then may increase the risk of developing gum disease and other issues which may cause the gums to bleed.

What Can You Do About Bleeding Gums?

Improve Oral Hygiene

Regular brushing and flossing are essential. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, a toothpaste containing fluoride and an alcohol-free mouthwash daily. Brush gently in a circular motion and floss carefully in a see saw motion to remove plaque. 

Regular Dental Check-ups

Visiting a dentist regularly can help detect early signs of gum disease and other dental issues. During this time your dentist or hygienist can also make recommendations on areas to improve upon like flossing more frequently.

Healthy Diet

A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can strengthen your immune system and help fight off infections that may cause gum disease. Avoiding certain foods may also help to ensure you have a healthier smile. Learn more about the worst foods and drinks for your oral health here.

Stop Using Tobacco Products

The use of tobacco products including smokeless products increases the risk of gum disease and many other oral health issues. No tobacco products, including vapes should not be used.

Take Action For Healthier Gums

By understanding the causes of bleeding gums and implementing the steps mentioned above, you can significantly improve your gum health. Decreasing the likelihood of bleeding gums. Remember, taking proactive measures and seeking professional advice is key to maintaining a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.

Have more questions on bleeding gums? We are ready to answer them! Come prepared to your next visit with any and all of your oral health questions. Book your visit today