Melbourne Smile Clinic

Why do my gums bleed?

We often have patients reporting that their gums bleed during brushing or eating or even spontaneously, and this is often a cause of anxiety. 

The most common cause of bleeding gums is gum disease. Gum disease means that the gum tissues are inflamed. This inflammation is most often caused by a deposit of plaque and calculus (soft and hard debris) , which act as an irritant, around the gum lines. Inflamed gums usually look red, swollen and bleed easily. The more severe the inflammation, the more severe the bleeding.

In the early stages of gum inflammation, this is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible. When the irritant is removed, the gums are able to recover and stop bleeding.

However, continuous inflammation over a long period of time can lead to irreversible changes where the gums recede. This more advanced state of disease is known as periodontitis. Periodontitis can lead to teeth becoming loose and eventually falling out. Periodontitis requires immediate professional treatment to stop its progression. 

Inflamed gums that bleed easily can make other dental treatment more challenging. It is important that prior to more complex dental treatment such as cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, implant placement, and even filllings, that the gums are as healthy as possible. 

The best way to prevent gum disease is with good oral hygiene both by adequate tooth brushing and flossing as well as professional cleans on a regular basis.

While bleeding of the gums from gum disease is not life-threatening, it is indicative of chronic inflammation of the gums and we recommend that you seek advice from your dentist as soon as possible.   

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Covid-19 update: Level 3 restrictions in Place
Only dental treatment deemed urgent can be provided and aerosol generating procedures are to be avoided. Patients will be asked to use a 0.2% chlorhexidine or 1.5% hydrogen peroxide mouthrinse prior to starting a procedure. Triage of patients will be carried out before an appointment is booked. Rubber dam for dental procedures will be used as much as possible.  Patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 or are awaiting test results, showing any symptom of covid-19 or have been in contact with an infected person are asked to delay dental visits. Social distancing measures have been set up in the waiting room as well as the staggering of appointments. Patients must use the alcohol-based handrub provided before and after treatment. For more information on restriction levels in Dental Practice, please click here . If you have a dental concern, please call us first to confirm whether the required treatment can be provided at this time. Thank you.