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Bleeding gums and dental bleeding

2-minute read

Bleeding from your mouth, tongue, lips or tooth sockets may be caused by gum disease, dental treatment, dental surgery, or a dental injury.

Bleeding gums

If your gums are bleeding after you have brushed your teeth, it could be a sign of gum disease, and you might need to pay more attention to your dental care.

The advice below may help.

  • Brush your teeth after every meal.
  • Use dental floss every day — your dentist or pharmacist will be able to advise you about this.
  • If your gums are sore, use a soft toothbrush.
  • Antibacterial mouthwashes (available from your pharmacist) may also help. Talk to your dentist or pharmacist first, as sometimes medical mouthwashes can cause side effects.
  • If you think you might have gum disease (gingivitis), it’s important to see a dentist, as getting treatment early can help protect your teeth.

Bleeding after dental treatment or injury

If you start to bleed after dental treatment, or injury to your mouth or teeth, the advice below may help.

  • Apply pressure over the area with gauze or a pad made from a clean, rolled up, cotton handkerchief or other clean cloth that has been slightly dampened with clean water.
  • Keep this pad in place for 30 minutes without removing it. Check to see if the bleeding has stopped. If not, repeat the process and keep the pad in place until you are seen by a dentist.
  • Do not rinse your mouth or put your fingers in your mouth.
  • If you are in pain, get advice on pain relief medicines you can take.
  • Avoid strenuous activity.
  • Avoid hot drinks and hard food.
  • If you smoke, try to cut down or quit as it may irritate your mouth.

Follow any advice you received from your dentist about rinsing your mouth and eating and drinking after dental procedures.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: December 2019

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