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Bleeding Gums Treatment and Prevention

Oct 22, 2020
Bleeding Gums Treatment and Prevention
Bleeding gums can be a sign that you’re brushing your teeth too firmly, but in many cases, spotting blood when you brush is a sign of gum disease.


Bleeding gums can be a sign that you’re brushing your teeth too firmly, but in many cases, spotting blood when you brush is a sign of gum disease. There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. If gingivitis is left untreated, there is a risk of developing periodontitis, a more severe condition, which causes permanent damage to the bone structure that supports the teeth and gums.

If you see spots of blood when you spit, or you notice that there is blood on your gums, we recommend getting in touch as soon as possible. Gingivitis is manageable, and the sooner it is treated, the better. According to the American Dental Association, over 40% of US adults aged over 30 with at least one natural tooth have periodontitis. Up to 80% of Americans have symptoms of gum disease.

It is also possible for vitamin deficiencies, including a lack of vitamins C and K, to cause bleeding gums.


Most people who have bleeding gums notice traces of blood in their spit when they clean their teeth. Some people can also see blood on the gum line. If you use colored toothpaste, you might find that you don’t notice bleeding, but there are often other symptoms of gum disease to look out for. These include:

  • Increased redness in the gums
  • Soreness and tenderness
  • Swelling

If you develop any of these symptoms, we strongly recommend getting in touch to make an appointment with Dr. Markle, Dr. Herman or Dr. Erian.


Gingivitis is the most common cause of bleeding gums. The good news is that gingivitis can be treated and managed relatively easily. Unfortunately, if gingivitis is not treated, there is a risk of developing more severe gum disease.

Periodontitis can cause irreparable damage to the bone tissue, which supports the teeth, increasing the risk of premature tooth loss. If you have concerns about your gums, we are here to help. We actively encourage patients to attend regular routine checks, which can help dentists to pick up early warning signs.

If you have symptoms of gum disease, booking an appointment with a periodontist is an excellent idea. Periodontists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and symptoms that affect the gums.

When you see a periodontist, they will examine your gums closely to ascertain the cause of your symptoms and determine the best course of action. When it comes to bleeding gums treatments, there are several options depending on whether you have gingivitis or periodontitis.


Our aim is to prevent bleeding gums from developing into a more serious condition. If you have gingivitis, it’s often possible to alleviate symptoms and protect the gums by adopting effective oral cleaning techniques.

Gingivitis is caused by a build-up of plaque. The bacteria found in plaque, a sticky substance that clings to the gum line, release acids, which irritate the gums. Brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning methods can help to eliminate plaque.

In more severe cases, we utilize cleaning techniques that target the areas above and below the gum line to eradicate harmful bacteria. It can also be beneficial to use an antibacterial mouthwash to prevent further issues.

We also recommend brushing gently to protect the tooth enamel and the gums. If you have a manual brush, we can provide advice and recommendations to help you find an electric toothbrush. Electric brushes remove plaque more effectively, and you don’t have to exert any effort, which helps to maintain effective but gentle cleaning.


If you have signs of periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease, there are various treatment options available. In many cases, surgery will not be required, but if there is already extensive damage, surgery may be needed to clean underneath the gums. Non-surgical treatments for bleeding gums include:

  • Scaling: this technique removes plaque and tartar from the gum line and the surfaces of the teeth
  • Root planing: planing smoothes the surfaces of the tooth roots and eliminates bacteria
  • Antibiotics: antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the bacterial infection


Prevention is always better than cure! At Baton Rouge Perio, we are here to help our patients maintain healthy gums. To prevent bleeding gums, we recommend:

  • Adopting an effective daily oral hygiene regime, which includes twice-daily brushing and either flossing or interdental brushing. We advise our patients to set a timer for 2 minutes when brushing in the mornings and evenings.
  • Brushing gently: it’s natural to assume that the harder you brush, the deeper the clean. When you’re brushing your teeth, it’s important to be thorough, but also to be gentle. If you’re too firm, you can damage the enamel and cause the gums to bleed. If you’re using an electric toothbrush, let the brush do the work. Simply hold the brush and move it around the teeth, taking care to cover each surface of every individual tooth.
  • Eating well: your diet has a significant influence on oral health. Our team advises patients to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Regular dental appointments: seeing your dentist on a regular basis can help to reduce the risk of gum disease and decay dramatically. Ideally, you should attend a routine check every 6-12 months.
  • Seek advice if you spot symptoms: if you notice that your gums are bleeding when you brush, or your gums are sore or swollen, don’t hesitate to seek advice. The sooner gum disease is treated, the better.

Gum disease is very common, but in many cases, it can be prevented. If you spot blood when you brush, or you’re worried about your gums, call Baton Rouge Perio today. Our friendly, experienced team led by Dr. Markle, Dr. Herman, and Dr. Erian is on hand to help.