Why are my gums bleeding when I brush my teeth?

Do you see red or pink when you spit in the sink after brushing? We're diving into some of the causes of bleeding gums, and the steps you can take to address it from home.

We've been there. You just finished brushing your teeth, you spit out the rest of your toothpaste, and look in the sink to see some red water swirling down the drain. Bleeding gums strike again 😩! While it may not be the end of the world right now, if left untreated they could turn into more of a permanent problem. Keep reading to find out how to make bleeding gums a thing of the past.

First things first: Why are my gums bleeding?

The most common cause of bleeding gums is gingivitis. Gingivitis sounds super scary, but it's a common, mild, and reversible form of gum disease (aka periodontal disease). It causes irritation, redness and swelling of the gum at the base of your teeth. 

A few different things can lead to gingivitis: 

  • 🤭 Poor oral hygiene. If you regularly go days without brushing and flossing, chances are there is some bacteria buildup around your gum line. 
  • ⌚ A change in your routine, causing you not to brush as frequently or as well as your mouth is used to.
  • 🙅 Improper oral hygiene. Even if you're diligent about brushing and flossing, if your technique is off or your products aren't a great match for your mouth, you won't get the maximum benefit from all the effort you put into your routine!
  • 🤰 Are you pregnant? If so, congratulations! Unfortunately you're also more prone to gingivitis when you have a bun in the oven. That's because your progesterone hormone levels are high, making you more susceptible to developing bacterial plaque that affects your gums.

The great news is bleeding gums is something you can address from home, right now! 

How do I make my gums stop bleeding? 

Whether your routine was upended by a big move or you're getting ready to have a baby, there are a few simple things you can do if your gums start bleeding while brushing!  First, make sure you get back to that great at-home routine that has been keeping your gums healthy! That includes: 

  • 🪥 Brushing 2-3 times a day, flossing twice a day
  • 💧 Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash
  • 🛁 Soak your retainers / night guards in an anti-bacterial cleaner
  • 📊 Keep your saliva acidity in check and monitor the pH levels in your mouth

Next, make sure you are using your home care products correctly! One of the things we hear most from our hygienists is that people are using products that should help, but they aren’t using them as intended. Check what your products recommend for use - some mouth rinses work best right after meals, others before brushing your teeth. Following those instructions will set you up for success 💪

And if your gums are bleeding, don't be ashamed! Plus, it's something you can likely reverse from home if you are diligent about addressing it in a timely manner. 

If you see some reddish saliva and want to make sure you have everything to need to address it, get started with Wally's custom oral care. You'll start with an at-home test kit and receive a consultation from your virtual hygienist who will get you everything you need to make bleeding gums a thing of the past 👋

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