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We’ve all been there. Maybe you’re brushing your teeth, flossing at home, or getting a professional cleaning for the first time in a while. No matter how healthy your smile is, you’re probably familiar with that metallic taste that comes with bleeding gums or you’ve seen the red tinge on your toothbrush after rinsing. But why do our gums bleed? And can it be a sign of a deeper problem?

In this article, we’ll dive into the causes of bleeding gums and their potential connection to gum disease. We’ll also cover how gum disease can impact your overall health and discuss preventative measures and treatment options for even the most extreme cases. Keep reading to learn more about bleeding gums and how they can impact your health.

What causes bleeding gums?

Occasional bleeding from your gums isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. Many people experience bleeding when flossing or brushing, particularly if their brush is too stiff or they’re using an aggressive technique. Inflammation is often the source of why your gums may be more sensitive, which can be caused by a number of factors. Some of these include:

  • Hormonal changes (gums can become more sensitive during pregnancy or at certain points in women’s monthly cycles)
  • An ill-fitting dental appliance (examples include retainers and dentures)
  • Plaque buildup (when tartar collects around the gums, it can cause inflammation)

While it’s normal to experience bleeding on occasion (especially when brushing, flossing, or following a dental treatment), if you notice bleeding occurring often or worsening over time, it can be a sign of underlying health conditions – most notably, gum disease.

Gum disease (also known as periodontitis) is an infection most often caused by plaque building up on the surface of your teeth, forming a hard layer and impacting gum health. Without treatment, gum disease will continue to worsen and can even lead to degeneration of the jaw bone.

Signs of gum disease

If you are suffering from gum disease or another underlying problem, it’s important to be examined as soon as possible so it doesn’t worsen. While an in-person exam is always recommended if you have any concerns about gum disease, there are several signs you’ll want to look out for:

  • Bleeding (especially when brushing or flossing correctly)
  • Gums that are sensitive to touch
  • Loose teeth
  • Swollen gums
  • Gums that are bright red or have a purple-ish hue
  • Bad breath
  • Pain when eating or talking
  • Receding gums

If you notice persistent bleeding or sensitivity, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist to determine the cause. They can conduct both a physical exam and perform x-rays to assess potential damage and risks.

Gum disease and general health

Gum disease can wreak havoc on your oral health. It not only impacts your gums, but also compromises the health of the surrounding bones, leading to jaw pain and tooth loss. However, in addition to dental pain and discomfort, gum disease is also known to contribute to a number of serious health conditions. 

The bacteria that builds up in the mouth due to gum disease can often travel through the bloodstream to other parts of the body, seriously increasing the risk of other complications that may initially seem unrelated. These include:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Various types of cancer

If you have a history of any of these conditions, or they run in your family, developing gum disease could be even more dangerous. Be sure to tell your dentist about any underlying problems so that your overall health can be taken into consideration.

Preventing gum disease

While gum disease is unfortunately common, with the right tools and care, preventing it is fairly simple. Unless there are underlying risk factors, gum disease is usually the result of poor dental hygiene. Caring for your teeth properly both at home and at your dentist’s office are the best ways to avoid oral health complications. If you want to avoid gum disease and take care of your general health, be sure to:

  • Practice daily dental care at home by brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a gentle mouthwash.
  • Visit your dentist’s office for cleanings and exams every six months.
  • Eat a healthy diet filled with essential nutrients and minerals.

Of course, like with many other health conditions, there can also be a genetic component to developing gum disease. If you have a family history of gum disease, it’s even more important to stay on top of your dental care and see a trusted dentist regularly.


Many of the more mild cases of bleeding gums can be addressed with preventive lifestyle changes and regular cleanings. However, if you’re suffering from gum disease, you’ll probably need a targeted treatment strategy. At Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles, we offer the best in comprehensive dental care. With a staff of experienced and trained professionals and cutting-edge technology, we have effective treatments for a wide variety of dental health concerns, including gum disease. 

In the past, gum disease treatments have been invasive and uncomfortable, but our LANAP procedure uses high-tech lasers to not only remove harmful bacteria but also significantly reduce your chances of future infection. The procedure is safe, painless, and minimally invasive. It can usually be completed in about 90 minutes and you can expect to be fully healed by the very next day.

Get top-quality dental care at Sedation Dentistry of Sunny Isles!

We know that going to the dentist can be stressful. That’s why we go above and beyond to create a compassionate and welcoming environment for all of our patients. Whatever your oral health needs are, we have the tools and knowledge to give you the healthy and attractive smile you’ve always wanted!

Call us at (786) 629-1503 or schedule your appointment online to get started!