Bleeding Gums (Gingivitis): Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Bleeding gums, in simple terms, means regular bleeding of the gums. It can occasionally be an indication of some serious ailments like platelet disorder or leukemia.

What are Bleeding Gums?

Bleeding gums refers to a clinical state in which the gums appear swollen and often bleed during brushing your teeth or eating rough food. The causes of bleeding gums may be due to poor oral hygiene, but may also be indicative of other health conditions like pregnancy, vitamin deficiency, scurvy, leukemia, or many other kinds of infections. If not taken care of properly, it may lead to gingivitis or inflammation of the gums. Luckily, it is reversible and can be cured using simple home remedies as well as maintaining the proper hygiene health of your mouth.

A young woman suffering from bleeding gums while eating an apple


Bleeding gums may be caused by a vitamin deficiency, scurvy, hormonal changes during pregnancy, leukemia, many kinds of infections, or brushing your teeth too hard. Let us discuss them in detail below:

  • Gingivitis: This occurs when plaque stays on the lining of the gum for too long and accumulates on the gum line. Plaque is the leftover food and bacteria that remains on the teeth when you don’t brush properly or regularly.
  • Periodontitis: When gingivitis reaches an advanced stage, periodontitis occurs. It is an infection of the gums, jawbone, and the soft tissues that surround the teeth.
  • Vitamin deficiencies: Vitamin C and K deficiencies can easily become the number one cause of bleeding gums. This is a deficiency which is very common in children and adults living in underdeveloped or developing countries. If your dentist tells you that you have healthy teeth and you are still experiencing bleeding gums, then you can fairly (by means of tests) attribute it to a vitamin deficiency.


Gum ailments can often time be painless and therefore it is important that you keep a lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Swelling of the gums
  • Tenderness and redness of the gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Foul taste in the mouth
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Pus formation around the teeth and gum
  • Blood in the saliva
  • Bleeding while brushing your teeth or while spitting Protection Status
About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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