“Can someone explain why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?”

This is a question that numerous people run through their heads as they notice bleeding while going through their oral care routine. 

While brushing your teeth, you anticipate a gleaming, white smile rather than a mouthful of blood. It can be an alarming situation when you look at the spittle in your mouth and notice the pinkish-red tinge accompanying the toothpaste froth. Believe it or not, this issue is more prevalent than you might realize, and numerous factors could contribute to it.

If you’re one of the folks facing bleeding gum issues, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s solve your query, “Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?”

Some Common Causes of Bleeding Gums

Causes of Bleeding Gums

Think of the question, “Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?”

Most of the time, it’s because of how you brush or a gum problem. Bleeding gums are, more often than not, a sign of gum disease, which affects many adults, about 47.2% of those aged 30 and older. So, it’s pretty common.

There are several reasons why your gums might bleed when you brush your teeth. Here are the top 10:

  1. Brushing too hard.
  2. Using an old toothbrush with worn-out bristles.
  3. Ill-fitting dentures or dental work.
  4. Incorrect or infrequent flossing.
  5. Taking certain medications.
  6. Pregnancy, which can make your gums swollen (pregnancy gingivitis).
  7. A tooth infection which can lead to bleeding, swollen gums, and pain.
  8. Not brushing and flossing regularly and carefully.

If your gums only bleed occasionally, it’s a sign that you need to be more diligent with brushing and flossing.

If gingivitis is the cause, your dentist can assist you in restoring your oral health. Similarly, if your brushing or flossing technique is causing the bleeding, your dentist can give you tips to do it right without hurting your gums. If the problem is related to your dentures or dental work, your dentist can assist in resolving that issue, too.

Are Diseases the Cause Behind Your Bleeding Gums?

When your dentist says your teeth and brushing technique are correct, you might be dumbfounded about the question, “Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?” After all, what’s causing this bleeding, and could it harm your teeth in the long run? 

In this situation, visiting your dentist is a good idea. Bleeding gums could be a sign of a harmless oral problem, but it can also be an indication of various other health issues and diseases. 

Gum Disease

Gum Disease

Gingivitis, indicated by bleeding gums when you brush due to plaque buildup, can lead to periodontitis, a severe gum disease. Periodontitis causes swollen, infected gums, loose teeth, bad breath, and other issues. Ignoring it can result in tooth loss. To prevent this, maintain good oral hygiene: brush, floss, mouthwash, and see your dentist regularly.



If you are looking for an answer to the question, “Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?” it might be a signal that you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. When you have diabetes, your mouth has a tougher time fighting off germs, making you more susceptible to issues like gum disease. The increased sugar levels in your blood can slow down your body’s healing ability, which can worsen gum disease.



Another condition that might answer the question, “Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?” is leukemia, a form of cancer. Leukemia lowers your platelet count, which usually helps stop bleeding. With fewer platelets, controlling bleeding in various areas, including your gums, becomes more challenging.



If your gums bleed while brushing and the bleeding doesn’t stop by itself, it could mean your gums are irritated, or you might have a condition called thrombocytopenia. This condition occurs when your body doesn’t have enough platelets to stop bleeding properly, causing excess bleeding in various parts of your body, including your gums. It ultimately might lead you to wonder, “Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?”

Hemophilia or Von Willebrand Disease

If your gums bleed easily or a minor cut or dental procedure leads to heavy bleeding, it could be a sign of a medical condition like hemophilia or Von Willebrand disease. These conditions can cause your blood to not clot correctly, which may result in bleeding gums and lead you to hunt for an answer to the question, “Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?”


It doesn’t happen often, but if your body lacks enough vitamin C, it can lead to a condition called scurvy. This is a health problem linked to not eating well. It can make you feel weak, give you anemia, and even make your skin bleed underneath.

Lack of Vitamin C & Vitamin K

Vitamins C and K are like your body’s handymen. Vitamin C fixes up your body, helping it grow new tissues, healing cuts and scrapes, and giving extra strength to your bones and teeth. Without enough vitamin C, you might feel tired and grumpy; over time, your gums can become puffy and bleed, making you wonder, “Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?”

On the other hand, vitamin K is responsible for ensuring your blood clots properly and keeps your bones strong. When you lack vitamin K from your food or your body can’t use it well, it can lead to bleeding issues, including bleeding gums.


Bleeding gums while brushing your teeth is a common issue with several potential causes. It could be due to gum disease, poor oral care, or certain health conditions. Consulting with your dentist and doctor is essential to identify the exact reason and receive appropriate treatment. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you’re experiencing bleeding gums, as addressing the issue is crucial for your oral and overall health.

In the leadership of Dr. David Tycast and Dr. Taylor Majerus, the dental team of Dental on First is always there to help you with your dental problems in New Prague, MN.

Schedule an appointment with the dentists of Dental on First today!


Is it normal for gums to bleed when brushing teeth?

There can be various causes for gum bleeding, including injuries, excessive brushing, gingivitis, or periodontitis. It’s advisable to consult with a dentist for an accurate diagnosis whenever you experience unexplained gum bleeding, as a prolonged appearance of blood when brushing your teeth could indicate a more serious problem. 

Does gingivitis go away?

In contrast to the later stages of gum disease, gingivitis is reversible when addressed promptly. If you observe signs of gingivitis, it’s important to make a dental appointment and improve your oral hygiene habits immediately. Neglecting gingivitis can lead to its progression into periodontitis.

Do gums grow back?

The straightforward response is no. When your gums are harmed by periodontitis, the most advanced type of gum disease, regrowing receding gums is not possible. Nevertheless, while receding gums cannot be restored, treatments can prevent the condition from worsening.