3 Possible Causes of Bleeding Gums

bleeding gums treatment northern vaBleeding gums is a sign of periodontal disease, also called gum disease, which is a bacterial infection of the gums. If you notice bleeding gums while brushing or flossing, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist. A little bleeding after flossing is normal every now and then, but more than that should warrant a trip to your dentist.

Ridgetop Dental in Sterling, VA is home to Dr. Datta Malyavantham and a team of dental professionals dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Periodontal screenings are part of our routine dental care and we offer diagnosis and treatment for all stages of gum disease.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

There are many factors that may contribute to bleeding gums. Some of the most common reasons are:

Gum Disease

Your at-home oral hygiene routine is your most powerful defense against gum disease. Oral bacteria is always multiplying in the mouth, and if it isn’t removed, it builds up to form tartar. The acids left behind by the oral bacteria erode the hard outer layer of the teeth, which can create small holes, called cavities.

Before cavities develop, plaque and tartar cause inflammation and irritation in the gums, which leads to gingivitis. This is the first — and most reversible — stage of gum disease. Catching gingivitis early gives you the best chance at avoiding more progressive gum disease.

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 its way to the tissue below the gum line. If this occurs, it can increase your risk of bone loss.


Bleeding gums can also be the result of certain types of medication. For example, birth control, aspirin, and blood pressure medication can make gums bleed. Let your dental team know if you’re taking any medications so we can treat you accordingly.


Hormones change when a woman is pregnant. Studies have shown that pregnant women have a higher risk of developing gingivitis, so seeking dental care when pregnant is even more important. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy while pregnant can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

When Do I Need to See a Dentist?

It is important to visit the dentist at least twice a year for a routine dental exam, screening, and professional dental cleaning. However, if you notice any changes in your dental health, you may want to schedule an appointment with our team. Ridgetop Dental is a Sterling, VA dental practice offering comprehensive care to families to help them achieve healthier teeth and gums. Schedule an appointment with us online or call our practice at (703) 520-7410 today.

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