Are your gums bleeding?
See how plaque along the gum line is the likeliest cause, and how to fight it.
Learn also how to treat gums that bleed, and how to improve your habits.
Bleeding gums can have many causes, but the most common is accumulation of plaque along the gum line, preventable by practicing oral hygiene per ADA guidelines.
How does plaque make gums bleed? Bacteria feed on the plaque, inflaming the gums (gingivitis), which then easily swell and bleed. If ignored, plaque eventually hardens into tartar, causing gum disease (periodontitis), even loss of teeth and supporting bone. You may already have gum disease if they are swollen, sore, or smelly.
Apart from plaque, other causes are:
- Improperly brushing or flossing
- Any bleeding disorder
- Use of blood thinners
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, puberty
- Poorly fitting dentures
- Leukemia, scurvy, HIV
- Vitamin C, K deficiencies