timberhill dental chipped teeth

At some point, many of us have experienced bleeding gums. Maybe you’re brushing your teeth and you see a little bit of blood when you spit out your toothpaste. Or, you notice your gums feeling a little raw after you floss.

Bleeding gums might not seem like that big of a deal. But if your gums are bleeding consistently, don’t ignore it.

In today’s blog post, we’ll review some of the common causes of bleeding gums, how you can treat them at home, and when it’s time to come visit us here at Timberhill Dental.


Gums bleed for a variety of different reasons, including:

  • Gingivitis or gum disease, caused by plaque or tartar buildup around the gumline
  • Brushing too hard
  • Beginning a new flossing routine, or flossing incorrectly
  • Dentures that don’t fit well
  • Mouth trauma or injury
  • Some blood-thinning medications
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Smoking
  • Some diseases, like leukemia or diabetes

Bleeding gums are an indication that the gums are sensitive or inflamed and require further treatment.

Pain relief tips

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort from your gums bleeding, or need help getting them to stop bleeding, call us here at Timberhill Dental and set up an appointment right away. While you wait for your appointment, try:

  • Saltwater rinse – a common household remedy that can help decrease bacteria and inflammation in the mouth, and encourage the gums to stop bleeding. To create a rinse, mix ½ teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water and swish the mixture around in the mouth.
  • Over the counter pain medication – to help reduce inflammation in the gums.
  • Ice or a cold compress – ice or a cold compress can help soothe irritated gums and decrease pain and swelling. Hold a cold compress near the gum outside of the mouth for up to 10 minutes.

It’s important to note that these home remedies can help relieve pain caused by irritated and bleeding gums, but aren’t a permanent fix. Identifying the cause of bleeding gums is key to treating and preventing it in the future.

Treatment options

Practice good oral hygiene at home

One of the easiest ways to prevent or treat bleeding gums is to practice a good oral hygiene routine.

Take a look at your daily oral hygiene routine, and make sure it consists of:

  • Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice per day, for a minimum of 2 minutes
  • Flossing daily
  • Visiting your dentist for regular 6-month cleanings and exams
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and limiting your intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Quit smoking, vaping, and any use of tobacco product

Practicing these oral hygiene techniques helps decrease the number of bacteria in your mouth, and aids in removing plaque buildup. Plaque buildup can lead to gingivitis and gum disease, a common cause of bleeding gums.


Visit your dentist every six months for regular exams and cleanings

At Timberhill Dental, we recommend regular 6-month dental cleanings and exams for two main reasons:

  1. Coming in for regular visits helps us to recognize and treat any current problems
  2. Conducting regular cleanings and exams helps to prevent dental problems down the road, as we can identify risks or warning signs before they become a bigger problem

If you are experiencing bleeding gums, let your dentist know. Our team will determine the best treatment option for you, including toothbrush, toothpaste, or mouthwash recommendations to help you treat and prevent your gums from bleeding in the future.


Maintain a balanced diet

The food you eat has a huge impact on the health of your gums. Eating a diet high in sugary or acidic foods, for instance, poses a substantial risk for developing cavities or gum disease. That’s because these types of foods create the ideal environment for plaque to develop and thrive.

Limiting your intake of sugary or acidic foods and beverages helps to decrease the risk of developing bacteria on the teeth. Even better, brushing 30 minutes after consuming these types of foods discourages them from hanging around and settling in the mouth.

Additionally, bleeding gums have been linked to Vitamin C and Vitamin K deficiencies. Eating a balanced diet helps ensure the body and gums get the vitamins they need.


Stop smoking

Smoking is tied to a variety of conditions and diseases, including lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. But did you know smoking has also been recognized as a major cause of gum disease?

This is because smoking weakens the body’s immune system, making it more difficult to fight off gum infection when it starts. Smoking also makes it more difficult for the gums to heal.


Reduce your stress levels

Research shows that stress weakens the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infection. In fact, one study even linked stress to gum disease, the most common cause of bleeding gums. Managing stress (especially long term stress) helps the body to fight off sickness, stay healthier for longer, and recover faster.

When we’re stressed, it can be tempting to skip the floss for a day, or even avoid brushing your teeth as often as you normally would. But neglecting oral hygiene often leads to plaque buildup, opening the door to a number of dental problems including gum disease, cavities, and even tooth loss.

Here are some tips and techniques for how to help manage stress.

Protect your health

Most of the time, bleeding gums aren’t that serious, and can usually be treated with a few simple changes. However, in some cases, bleeding gums can be a sign of a larger problem — including gum disease, nutritional deficiencies, and even some diseases like leukemia or diabetes. Identifying the reason for bleeding gums, and taking the correct steps to treat and prevent them is key.

That’s why it’s important to seek professional treatment if your bleeding gums don’t clear up within a week.

Stop your bleeding gums today

If your gums are bleeding consistently, don’t wait to come in and see our team at Timberhill Dental. Call us at (541) 754-0144 or schedule your appointment online today.