Dr. Kathleen Mullaney • DDS • FAGD

COVID 19 Protocol - Team Mullaney is fully vaccinated

Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

Are you experiencing bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth? While it may seem common, regular gum bleeding could indicate an underlying issue — don’t ignore it!

Here’s why your gums may be bleeding and what you can do to prevent it.

7 Causes of Bleeding Gums


  1. Poor Oral Hygiene
  2. One of the primary causes of gum bleeding is inadequate dental hygiene. When plaque accumulates along the gum line, it can lead to inflammation and bleeding gums. Not removing this plaque with regular brushing and flossing can result in gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease.

  3. Incorrect Brushing Technique
  4. Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can irritate your gums and lead to bleeding. Instead, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and apply gentle pressure while brushing.

  5. Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease
  6. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease characterized by inflamed and bleeding gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, a more severe condition that affects the tissues and bone surrounding your teeth. Both require professional treatment to prevent further damage.

  7. Hormonal Changes
  8. Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy, can increase the risk of gum bleeding. Pregnancy gingivitis is a common condition that affects many expectant mothers. The hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can make the gums more sensitive and prone to inflammation and bleeding.

  9. Medications
  10. Certain medications, such as blood thinners, can prevent normal blood clotting. This can make your gums more susceptible to bleeding. If you take any medications, it’s important to inform your dentist — they can provide guidance on managing your oral health.

  11. Ill-Fitting Dental Appliances
  12. Poorly fitting dentures or dental restorations can cause irritation and inflammation in the gums, causing bleeding. Regular dental check-ups can help ensure your dental appliances fit properly and aren’t causing any harm.

  13. Underlying Health Conditions
  14. Gum bleeding can sometimes be a symptom of underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or blood clotting disorders like hemophilia.

    A lack of essential nutrients like Vitamin C can weaken your gum tissues and lead to bleeding. Incorporating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods can help improve your gum health.


Tips to Stop Gum Bleeding

If you’re experiencing gum bleeding, there are several measures you can take to help stop it, including:

  • Practice proper dental hygiene – Brush your teeth at least twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes. Our Alexandria dental office recommends an electric toothbrush over a manual one. Make sure to clean all surfaces of your teeth, including the gum line. Additionally, floss daily to remove plaque and food particles between your teeth.
  • Avoid tobacco and smoking – Smoking and vaping are detrimental to your oral health and can contribute to gum disease and bleeding gums. Quitting not only improves your gum health but also reduces the risk of various other health complications.
  • Manage stress levels – Stress can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to gum infections and inflammation. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in physical activity, or seeking support from friends and family.
  • Visit your dentist regularly – Your dentist can detect early signs of gum disease or other dental issues and provide appropriate treatment. Professional dental cleaning help remove plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of gum bleeding.


When to Seek Professional Help for Bleeding Gums

While minor gum bleeding can usually be resolved with improved oral hygiene practices, there are instances when professional intervention is necessary. You should seek dental care if:

  • Your gum bleeding persists for more than a week
  • Your gums are severely swollen, painful, or receding
  • You notice pus or discharge from your gums
  • Your gums bleed excessively with gentle brushing and flossing
  • You have other symptoms, such as loose teeth or persistent bad breath

Dr. Mullaney will conduct a thorough exam to determine the underlying cause of your gum bleeding and recommend appropriate treatment.

Contact Our Alexandria Dentist Today!

Whether you’re concerned about your gum health or need professional dental care, visit Dr. Kathleen Mullaney, DDS, for expert guidance and personalized treatment options. Don’t wait — call 240-532-3335 or contact us to schedule your appointment today!

Author Bio: Dr. Kathleen Mullaney offers general and cosmetic dentistry services in Alexandria, VA. She earned her doctorate in dental surgery from the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) and proudly served as a United States Navy dentist before opening her practice. With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Mullaney is delighted to be one of Old Town’s most respected and sought-after dentists! Call 240-532-3335 to schedule an appointment.

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* Includes necessary X-rays, Velscope Oral Cancer Screening and periodontal examination
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Had my first visit to Dr. Mullaney’s office this month since the pandemic and the experience was gold standard. The safety processes and clean office environment were impeccable. Dr. Mullaney and staff were, as usual, amazing. Every step was explained, the protective garments worn by staff were the best I have experienced. It was a safe and positive visit and I recommend making an appointment!!

I am a new patient. After my first dentist appointment with Dr. Mullaney, I left feeling very informed and in control of ultimately making decisions about the care and treatment I receive. The staff is incredibly kind and knowledgeable. I love that they participate in helping veterans through The Freedom Day USA program. They are committed to providing a very clean and friendly atmosphere. In addition this practice goes out of its way to bring comfort and the latest in dentistry to all their patients.

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Dr. Mullaney and her staff are absolutely wonderful. They are very professional, personable and greet you by name when you walk in the door. Dr. Mullaney is very talented and really has perfected her craft. Even with a last-minute treatment change, she is unwavering in performing the highest quality treatment available. I am extremely grateful to you all for making my visit pleasant and even fun!