answering the common question: “why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?”

answering the common question: “why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?”

Have you ever brushed your teeth and noticed blood in the sink? While bleeding gums are not considered normal, they are very common. Up to 60% of people will occasionally experience gum bleeding, so we figured it’s a great topic to discuss.

The causes of bleeding gums can range from simply having the wrong toothbrush for your mouth to gum we’ll start by saying that the most important thing you can do to identify the cause of your bleeding gums is to visit your dentist!

what causes bleeding gums when brushing teeth?

With that being said, let’s dive into a few common causes for bleeding gums when brushing.

brushing habits

Your everyday brushing habits play a huge role in the health/inflammation of your gums. 

  • Bad oral hygiene: If you’re not taking proper care of your teeth (brushing at least twice daily and flossing at least once daily), plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. This allows bacteria to grow on your gum line and cause irritation, inflammation, and bleeding.
  • Hard-bristle toothbrush: If you naturally have sensitive gums, you may just be using a toothbrush that’s too hard for your mouth. Don’t worry, we have a guide to help you pick the right brush.
  • Brushing/flossing too hard: Go easy on your mouth! Pressing harder on your floss/brush does not equal a deeper clean. Make sure you focus on diligent flossing that hugs your teeth rather than slicing your gums. And focus on brushing that prioritizes diligence over force, reaching tight spots and persisting for at least two minutes.

As many dentists say, “Healthy gums don’t bleed.”

mouth conditions

While oral hygiene is an essential start, it doesn’t guarantee protection against bacteria buildup and progressive conditions like gum disease.

  • Plaque/tartar buildup: Bacteria can build up on your gum line in the form of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) over time. On top of brushing frequently and diligently (with a great natural toothpaste like Davids), head to your dentist for a professional deep cleaning.
  • Gingivitis: Gingivitis is considered the early stage of gum disease where your gums become swollen and red, and they can bleed more easily. Your dentist will be able to tell you if your gums have reached the gingivitis stage.
  • Periodontitis: The dreaded later stage of gum disease. This is the part where your gums may separate from your tooth, exposing your bone to damage and potential loss. This is why it’s so important to treat gingivitis in its early stages so it doesn’t progress!

Studies suggest that the likelihood of periodontal disease is impacted by genetics, so be sure to look into your family history to see if you’re particularly susceptible to gum disease.


Oral health extends beyond your oral care routine! From diet and exercise to medication, the health of your gums (and entire oral microbiome) depends on your holistic self-care habits.

  • Pregnancy+hormones: nearly 60-75% of pregnant women will develop gingivitis. Hormonal changes, specifically increased progesterone, can make it easier for bacteria to grow along your gum lines. This can also be an issue for those taking hormonal medications.
  • Medications: In addition to hormonal medications, certain blood pressure medications, immunosuppressants, and some antiviral drugs can increase gum bleeding. If you take any of these medications regularly, call your doctor to see if they may be contributing to your bleeding gums.
  • Diet: As always, diet plays a huge role in the health of your oral microbiome. A deficiency in Vitamins C and K can lead to excess bleeding. Vitamin C and other micronutrients + antioxidants play a huge role in strengthening your immune system, balancing bacteria in your body, and reducing infections that can lead to inflammation and bleeding.

Now, let’s dive into some tips to soothe your bleeding gums when brushing teeth.

how to stop bleeding gums when brushing teeth

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to taming bleeding gums, but here are a few of our top tips.

  • Visit your dentist! We can’t stress this one enough. Your dentist can identify gingivitis, clean plaque and tartar with tools you don’t have at home, and assess your overall dental health with x-rays, professional knowledge, and more.
  • Prioritize oral hygiene + a nutrient-dense diet: Check out our nutrition guide by Dr. Anu Isaac, DMD. She highlights the importance of water, vitamin D, protein, fibrous fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and more. All of these are so important for your oral and overall health!
  • Avoid harsh chemicals: While harsh chemicals tend to kill everything in your mouth, they can also disrupt your oral microbiome and cause irritation and bleeding. Instead, we recommend fighting bad bacteria and inflammation with natural ingredients like those found in Davids (an effective toothpaste for bleeding gums), a simple salt rinse, and/or homemade turmeric paste (¼ teaspoon turmeric powder with ⅛ teaspoon melted coconut oil).

If you notice your gums begin bleeding right around the time you get a new toothbrush, consider that a sign to look for another (gentler) brush.

why Davids is a great toothpaste for bleeding gums

Davids uses premium, natural, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory ingredients to promote optimal oral health and reduce the risk of bleeding gums.

  • Fight bad bacteria: Our naturally-derived xylitol and peppermint oil don’t just taste amazing, they work together to reduce bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms in your mouth....naturally!
  • Break down plaque: our premium, domestic, ultra-fine abrasive ingredients like hydrated silica, calcium carbonate, and baking soda neutralize the plaque forming acids in your mouth, remove surface stains, and whiten & polish your teeth.
  • Reduce inflammation + irritation: by replacing harsh chemical ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) with natural alternatives like sodium cocoyl glutamate (our mild foaming agent derived from coconut material), Davids eliminates ingredients that commonly cause your mouth to “burn” and/or develop sores.

And those are just a few reasons we call Davids the best natural toothpaste (and a great toothpaste for bleeding gums)! We hope our toothpaste+tips can help you avoid asking the question, “Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?” once and for all.

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