What is it?

Bleeding gums are the most common symptom of gum disease. But it can also point to other health problems.
Occasional bleeding of the gums can be caused by brushing your teeth too vigorously or wearing dentures that don’t fit correctly. Frequent gum bleeding can also indicate more serious conditions, including:
- periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease)
- leukemia (cancer of the blood)
- vitamin deficiency
- lack of clotting cells (platelets)

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of gum disease include:
your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth, floss or eat hard foods such as apples.
your gums becoming swollen, red and sore.

Diagnosis

A patient must go to the dentist to have a full diagnosis

Treatment

Good dental hygiene is the first step to managing bleeding gums.
Visit your dentist twice per year for professional cleaning. You can book an appointment with a dentist in your area using our Healthline FindCare tool. Your dentist will let you know if you have gingivitis and teach you how to brush your teeth properly. Proper brushing and flossing can remove plaque from your gum line and reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Your dentist may also show you how to use an antiseptic mouthwash to minimize plaque that forms in your mouth. And a rinse of warm salt water can help soothe swollen gums that bleed easily.
Use a soft toothbrush. It’ll be gentle on inflamed gums, especially if you experience bleeding after brushing your teeth. Medium and hard bristles may be too abrasive for your delicate gums.
You might also consider using an electric toothbrush. The specially designed brush heads on these toothbrushes can help you to clean your gum line more easily than a manual toothbrush.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

Learn more about our editorial process for content accuracy.

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