Is It Normal for My Gums to Bleed After Brushing?

Is It Normal for My Gums to Bleed After Brushing?

If you have ever experienced some gum bleeding after brushing or flossing your teeth, it is normal to be a little concerned. However, a little bleeding isn’t necessarily a sign of something detrimental. There are a number of reasons why your gums might bleed after brushing, as well as things you can do at home to treat or prevent it.

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What Can Cause My Gums to Bleed After Brushing?

Poor Dental Hygiene

If you notice that your gums lightly bleed after flossing, this might be a sign that you have poor dental hygiene. Poor dental hygiene can lead to increased bacteria in the mouth, which makes your gums red and inflamed. This makes them more likely to bleed when you either brush or floss your teeth.

Brush or Floss Too Hard


Brushing or flossing your teeth too hard can lead to your gums bleeding. This is especially true if you use a toothbrush that is too hard. Most people should use a soft bristle toothbrush, even though there are many different kinds of medium and hard bristles options to choose from. 

Some people may think that by using a harder bristle toothbrush, they are cleaning their teeth more thoroughly, but this is often not the case. Hard toothbrushes can lead to inflamed gums, bleeding, and even gum loss.


Bleeding gums can also be a sign of gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by plaque buildup at your gum line, leading to inflammation of the gums. Other signs of gingivitis include red, swollen, and irritated gums. The good news is that gingivitis is treatable by thoroughly brushing and flossing regularly and getting professional cleanings from your dentist.


Periodontitis, or periodontal disease, is caused when you don’t take care of your gingivitis, and it progresses. Periodontitis is a more long-term problem, and it can badly affect the tissue and bones in your mouth that support your teeth. Your gums can be red and inflamed and even pull away from your teeth. If you don’t take care of the problem, you can also lose some of your teeth. With periodontitis, gums are likely to bleed easily, as they are very irritated and inflamed. 


About 40% of pregnant women will develop pregnancy gingivitis at some point in their pregnancy, typically between the second and eighth months. It is caused by hormonal changes, particularly the increase of progesterone, that make your gums more sensitive to plaque and also make it easier for bacteria to grow on your teeth and along your gumlines. Some signs of pregnancy gingivitis include slight bleeding of the gums when you brush and red, inflamed gums.

Certain Medications

There are certain medicines that can cause an increase in gum bleeding. These can include prescription blood thinners, as well as over the counter pain relievers, such as Aspirin. If you have any concerns about the medications you are taking, call your doctor. 

What You Can Do at Home for Bleeding Gums

Practice Good Dental Hygiene

In a lot of cases, you can stop and prevent gum bleeding by simply improving your daily oral hygiene. Make sure to brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day. It’s also important to make sure to go to all of your regular dental appointments to get a checkup and professional cleaning.

Rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide

Many people have hydrogen peroxide in the house for use as a disinfectant for a cut or scrape. It also can be used as a mouth rinse after brushing. Swish a little around your mouth after you brush and floss as you would with mouthwash, and make sure to spit it out afterward. Hydrogen peroxide has been shown to reduce inflammation and gingivitis, leading to a reduction in bleeding of the gums as well.

Increase Your Intake of Vitamins C and K

Vitamins in Hand

By eating foods rich in Vitamins C and K, it can help to prevent your gums from bleeding. Vitamin C helps to strengthen your immune system, thus helping to reduce gum infections that can cause inflammation and bleeding. Vitamin K helps your blood to clot, so a deficiency can lead to your gums easily bleeding after brushing or flossing. 

Schedule an Appointment With Your Dentist

If your gum bleeding doesn’t improve after a week or worsens, it is time to call your dentist. Your dentist will check for any underlying problems and will probably want to do a deep cleaning in order to remove any plaque buildup and tartar from your teeth and gumline. 

The Memphis Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is here for you to help keep your smile beautiful and healthy. Call us or fill out our online form to request an appointment. We will help you figure out the root cause of your gum bleeding and come up with a plan to stop it.

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Posted by Miles Moore at 8:00 AM
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