Bleeding Gums Symptoms & Signs
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Bleeding, redness, and painful or sore gums can be a symptom of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) that arises due to a number of different causes. Bleeding of the gums is sometimes referred to as gingival bleeding, and it may occur during brushing or flossing. The soreness can be accompanied by swelling of the gum tissues. Most commonly, gingivitis is the result of plaque buildup on the teeth around the gum line. Without adequate removal, the plaque hardens to become tartar, which worsens gingivitis and can, over time, lead to receding gums and even damage the bones of the jaws. Bleeding from the gums, particularly when accompanied by easy bruising and/or bleeding at other sites in the body, can also be caused by diseases that interfere with the normal blood-clotting process. Blood-thinner medications are another potential cause of bleeding gums. The hormonal changes during pregnancy can also increase the sensitivity of the gums, which may lead to increased bleeding in some cases. Those with chronic conditions that affect the function of the immune system, such as HIV infection or diabetes, may also have an increased tendency to develop gingivitis.
Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.
Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Stephen, James M. "Gingivitis." eMedicine.com. Nov. 23, 2009. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/763801-overview>.
Thiagarajan, Perumal. "Platelet Disorders." eMedicine.com. June 9, 2009. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/201722-overview>.
Causes of Bleeding Gums
In This ArticleDiabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) Article
- Diabetes type 1 and type 2 definition and facts
- What is diabetes?
- How many people in the US have diabetes?
- 9 early signs and symptoms of diabetes
- How do I know if I have diabetes?
- What causes diabetes?
- What are the risk factors for diabetes?
- What are the different types of diabetes?
- What is type 1 diabetes
- What is type 2 diabetes
- What are the other types of diabetes?
- What kind of doctor treats diabetes?
- How is diabetes diagnosed?
- Why is blood sugar checked at home?
- What are the acute complications of diabetes?
- What are the chronic complications of diabetes?
- What can be done to slow the complications of diabetes?
- What is the prognosis for a person with diabetes?
In This ArticleGum Disease Article
- What is gum disease (gingivitis)?
- What is the difference between gingivitis and periodontal disease?
- What causes gum disease?
- Does gum disease cause bad breath?
- What does gum disease look like? What are gum disease symptoms and signs?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose gum disease?
- What is the treatment for gum disease?
- What types of specialists treat gum disease?
- What types of medication are used to treat gum disease?
- Are home remedies or natural treatments effective for gum disease?
- Is it possible to reverse gum disease?
- Is gum disease associated with other health problems?
- How is gum disease managed in children?
- How is gum disease managed in pregnancy?
- Is it possible to prevent gum disease?
- What is the best toothpaste to use to prevent gum disease?
- Is gum disease contagious?
In This ArticleGum Problems Article
- Gum health introduction
- What are common gum problems?
- What causes gum problems?
- What are the risk factors for gum problems?
- What are signs and symptoms of gum problems?
- How are gum problems diagnosed?
- Can gum problems be a sign of something serious?
- What is the treatment for gum problems? What are home remedies for gum problems?
- What are the complications with gum problems?
- What is the prognosis for gum problems?
- What is the best way to care for your gums?
- Is it possible to prevent gum problems?
In This ArticleHemophilia Article
- Hemophilia facts
- What is hemophilia?
- What causes hemophilia?
- What are the signs and symptoms of hemophilia?
- How is hemophilia diagnosed?
- Is it possible to know if you are a carrier of hemophilia?
- What are treatments for hemophilia?
- Can hemophilia be prevented?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for hemophilia?
- What are possible future treatments for hemophilia?
In This ArticleHuman Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Article
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) facts
- What is the history of HIV, and when was HIV discovered?
- What tests are used in the diagnosis of HIV?
- How is HIV spread (transmitted)?
- What are symptoms and signs of HIV infection and AIDS in men, women, and children?
- What happens after an exposure to the blood or genital secretions of an HIV-infected person?
- What laboratory tests are used to monitor HIV-infected people?
- What are HIV treatments and medications? What are the key principles in managing HIV infection?
- When should antiviral therapy be started?
- What is the initial therapy for HIV?
- What are nucleoside and nucleotide analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)?
- What are nonnucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)?
- What are protease inhibitors?
- What are fusion inhibitors?
- What is a CCR5 antagonist?
- What is an integrase strand transfer inhibitor?
- What HIV drugs are in development?
- What are side effects of HIV therapy?
- What happens if the patient's viral load increases while on HIV therapy?
- What are the risks of missing doses or stopping antiviral therapy?
- Should patients with the flu- or mono-like illness of primary HIV infection be treated?
- What about treatment for HIV during pregnancy?
- What can be done for people who have severe immunosuppression?
- What is the future for HIV-infected individuals with regards to treatment simplification and cure research?
- What is in the future for preventing HIV transmission?
In This ArticleIdiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) Article
- Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) facts
- What is idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?
- What are the types of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura?
- What are the causes of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?
- What are the risk factors for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?
- What are the symptoms and signs for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?
- How is idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura diagnosed (ITP)?
- What are the treatments for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?
- How can idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura be prevented (ITP)?
- Living with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
- What is the outlook for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?
- What are other names for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?
In This ArticleIs Gingivitis Contagious? Article
- What is gingivitis (gum disease or periodontal disease)?
- Is gingivitis contagious?
- How does gingivitis spread?
- How will one know if he or she has gingivitis?
- How will someone know when he or she no longer has gingivitis?
- When should someone seek medical care for gingivitis?
In This ArticleLeukemia Article
- Leukemia facts
- What is leukemia? What are the different types of leukemia?
- What causes leukemia? Is leukemia hereditary?
- What are leukemia risk factors?
- What are leukemia symptoms and signs?
- How do physicians diagnose leukemia?
- What is the treatment for leukemia?
- What are complications of leukemia?
- What is the prognosis of leukemia?
- Is it possible to prevent leukemia?
- What support groups are available for people with leukemia?
- What research is being done on leukemia?
In This ArticlePregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters) Article
- Pregnancy facts*
- What is the first trimester (week 1-week 12)?
- What is the second trimester (week 13-week 28)?
- What is the third trimester (week 29-week 40)?
- How will my baby develop week by week?
- What are the changes that happen to a woman's body during the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester of her pregnancy?
- Body aches
- Breast changes
- Fatigue, sleep problems
- Heartburn and indigestion
- Hemorrhoids during pregnancy
- Leg cramps
- Morning sickness
- Nasal problems
- Numb or tingling hands
- Stretch marks, skin changes
- Urinary frequency and leaking
- Varicose veins
In This ArticleYellow Fever Article
- Yellow fever facts
- What is yellow fever? What is the history of yellow fever?
- What causes yellow fever?
- How is yellow fever transmitted?
- What areas are high risk for contracting yellow fever?
- What is the incubation period for yellow fever?
- Is yellow fever contagious? How long is the contagious period for yellow fever?
- What are yellow fever symptoms and signs?
- How is yellow fever diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for yellow fever?
- How long does yellow fever last?
- What is the prognosis for people with yellow fever?
- Is it possible to prevent yellow fever?
- What are the side effects of the yellow fever vaccine?
- Where can people get more information on yellow fever?
Other Causes of Bleeding Gums
- Bacterial Infection
- Excessively Hard Toothbrushing
- Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
- Other Bleeding or Blood Clotting Disorders
- Poorly Fitting Dentures
- Poor Nutrition
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (TTP)
- Trauma to the Mouth and/or Gums
- Trench Mouth
- Vitamin C Deficiency (Scurvy)
- Vitamin K Deficiency
- Von Willebrand Disease
Examples of Medications for Bleeding Gums
- raltegravir (Isentress)
Symptoms & Signs A-Z List
WebMD Oral Health
Get tips for a healthy mouth.