Why Do I Have Bleeding Gums?

Do you see blood when brushing or flossing and wonder whether it’s from brushing too hard or gum disease? While bleeding gums sometimes happens when you’re taking care of your teeth, consistently having bleeding gums is a sign of a problem. Dr. Robert Cain is a Knoxville periodontist who can help you understand the signs of gum disease and when your bleeding gums might indicate it’s time to see a dentist.

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What Causes Bleeding Gums?

There are many reasons you may experience bleeding gums. Early diagnosis and intervention for gum disease can help reduce the risk of complications associated with advanced-stage gum diseases, such as tooth loss, bone loss, and receding gums.

Here are some of the common reasons for bleeding gums:

Gum Disease

Regular brushing and flossing are imperative to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. When you don’t brush or floss your teeth, you accumulate plaque. The bacteria from the plaque can cause inflammation and irritation in the gums, which leads to gingivitis.

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, and one of the most common signs of it is bleeding gums. At the earliest stage, gum disease is reversible. Our team can work with you to reverse the effects of gingivitis with a personalized treatment plan.

Keep in mind, the longer that bleeding gums are left untreated, the more likely the infection will get worse. As gum disease progresses, your gums may recede, which may allow bacteria to make their way to the tissue below the gum line. If this occurs, it can increase your risk of bone and tooth loss.


Certain types of medication can increase your risk of bleeding gums. For example, aspirin, birth control, and blood pressure medication can contribute to bleeding gums. It is important to let our team know about the medicines you are taking so we can determine if that is contributing to your bleeding gums.


The hormone in the body changes when you are pregnant. Studies have shown that pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing gingivitis.

If you are pregnant and notice any changes in your dental health like bleeding gums, please be sure to contact our team. Dr. Cain can work with you to help improve your dental health and discuss ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy while pregnant.

When Do I Need to See a Dentist for Bleeding Gums?

It is important to visit the dentist at least twice a year for a routine dental exam, screening, and professional dental cleaning.

Dr. Cain offers routine screenings for gum disease and a full range of periodontal therapy services to address the varying stages of gingivitis and periodontitis. Call us at (865) 280-1173 or request an appointment online.