Bleeding gums, characterised by swollen, puffy, and red gums are common symptoms of gum disease. Occasional bleeding of the gums may not be serious but it may indicate underlying health conditions and needs to be evaluated by a doctor.

What are bleeding gums?

Bleeding gums are swollen, puffy gums. Occasional bleeding of the gums may be due to brushing teeth too vigorously or wearing inappropriately fitting dentures, but it may point to underlying health conditions such as periodontitis, vitamin deficiency, leukaemia, and blood platelet disorders.


Swollen, puffy dark red gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss, bad breath, and receding tender gums are signs of gingivitis or gum inflammation. It may occur due to plaque or tartar build-up, which allows bacteria to grow along the gum line.

  • A build-up of plaque and tartar at the gum line leading to gingivitis or inflamed gums
  • Cavities or dental caries
  • Vitamin deficiencies, especially Vitamin C and vitamin K
  • Ill-fitting dentures (especially if they are too tight)
  • Pregnancy and hormonal changes
  • Bleeding disorders like haemophilia and leukaemia
  • Blood-thinning medications such as warfarin, heparin, and aspirin
When should you consult a doctor if you have bleeding gums?

Bleeding gums are fairly common but may signal an underlying health condition, particularly if it persists or worsens despite maintaining good dental hygiene. To book an appointment, contact Yashoda Hospitals, Secunderabad, India https://www.yashodahospitals.com

Risk factors
  • Poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, ill fitting dentures
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Ageing
  • Inadequate nutrition, ¬†Vitamin C and K deficiency
  • Diseases such as cancer, leukaemia, or HIV/AIDS
  • Certain drugs such as calcium channel blockers used for high blood pressure
  • Hormonal changes such as those related to pregnancy or the use of birth control pills
  • Family history
  • Viral and fungal infections
Possible complications

If bleeding gums go untreated, they can progress to gum disease that spreads to underlying tissue and bone in the mouth, eventually leading to tooth loss.

Other complications include inflammation associated with respiratory disease, diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke and trench mouth, which leads to infected gums and ulcerations.

  • Practice good oral hygiene, which involves brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once a day.
  • Ensure regular dental visits, at least twice a year.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Eat healthy and manage your blood sugar levels.
What are the diagnosis and treatment options for bleeding gums?

Diagnosis involves visually examining the oral cavity to check for receding gum lines, swollen gums, light bleeding from dental equipment, and cavities. In some cases, blood tests are recommended to determine the cause. The dentist may refer you to a general practitioner to get an accurate diagnosis.

Remedies involve good dental hygiene and a dental check-up twice a year. The dentist may also advise using an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce plaque and a warm salt water massage to the gums to soothe them.


Inadequate nutrition, vitamin C deficiency, ill-fitting dentures, and illnesses such as leukaemia may cause gums to bleed. The best way to prevent bleeding gums is to practice good oral hygiene and ensure regular dental visits, eat nutritious diet, and avoid smoking.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums are an early symptom of leukaemia. Bleeding gums that do not go away with improved oral hygiene need examination to diagnose any underlying health conditions.

Long-term stress weakens the immune system. This may lead to bleeding and inflamed gums.

Patients with gum disease may often experience elevated blood pressure levels. This may be due to an active gingival inflammation or gum bleeding.

When gums bleed, it indicates that plaque and/or food particles are accumulating along the gum line, thereby causing gum inflammation. Brushing and flossing help to remove plaque to arrest bleeding.

Brushing teeth regularly and eating a fibre-rich and vitamin C-dense diet will help keep gums healthy. Not smoking and having regular dental check-ups also help.

Some of the ways to stop gum bleeding are practising good oral hygiene, avoiding tobacco, increasing intake of Vitamin C and K, and reducing stress.

Bleeding gums are caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar at the gum line, cavities or dental caries and vitamin deficiencies, but they can indicate a developing gum disease or some other underlying medical condition.

If bleeding gums worsen despite maintaining good oral hygiene, then you need to see your dentist before it becomes severe.

If you have pain while chewing, spit out blood after brushing your teeth, find that your teeth are sensitive or loosening, have persistent bad breath and receding gums, it could mean that your gums are infected.

If your gums suddenly bleed, it could be because you brushed your teeth too vigorously or are wearing ill-fitting dentures. Frequent gum bleeding may indicate severe medical conditions like gum disease or leukaemia.

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