Chat with Doctor

Your mouth bleeds every time you brush?

You probably have a case of gingivitis and need to pay your dentist a visit.

Bleeding in the mouth occurs due to infected gums generally. However, sometimes, you might bleed from the lips, cheeks or tongue due to an accidental bite, which in all truthfulness, heals spontaneously and isn’t cause for worry. In case there is bleeding from an ulcer or sore that doesn’t seem to heal, further investigation may be required to eliminate the possibility of oral cancer.

Common Causes for Bleeding in the Mouth

  • Gingivitis: By far the most common cause of bleeding during brushing, or in severe cases (periodontitis), spontaneous bleeding. Gingivitis literally translates into inflammation of the gingiva (gums), which occurs when there are bacteria surrounding your teeth. The infection caused by the bacteria presents as bleeding from the gums.

  • Post-surgical Bleeding: Post dental extraction, cyst removal, suturing or any other surgical procedure in the mouth, some amount of bleeding is to expected. It is a cause for worry if:

    • Bleeding persists for more than 1 day.

    • The patient has a history of blood disorders, in which case pre and post-surgical prophylaxis has to be taken along with emergency measures during the surgery.

    • Patient has a history of immune disorders like diabetes. In such cases there is a risk of infection post-surgery and proper antibiotic coverage is mandatory.

  • Bleeding from sores/ulcers: Healing ulcers have a tendency to rupture and bleed when irritated. Eating highly enzymatic foods like papaya and pineapple have the tendency to irritate them further, which may hamper the clot formation too.

  • Accidental bites: Most common in children, patients who have been under dental anesthesia can also bite their lip or tongue accidentally. Unless there is an underlying bleeding or immune disorder, there is no cause for concern.

Prevention of Mouth Bleeding

  • Gingivitis: No surprises here, but the best way to prevent gingivitis is good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. Consider a yearly or bi-annually scaling session is like a spa for your teeth, that rejuvenates the gums and prevents early loss of teeth due to gum diseases.

  • Post Surgical Bleeding: Post dental surgery, follow these instructions for quick healing:

    • Avoid brushing in the area. Use a soft Q-tip or soft cloth instead to gently dab and clean the spot.

    • Avoid vigorous rinsing and spitting so as to not displace the healing clot.

    • Do not drink through a straw as it generates a high sucking force in your mouth that can again, displace the clot.

    • Avoid hot, hard and sticky foods during the first 3-5 days post surgery. It is best to eat soft, cool foods during the healing stage. So, Ice cream is yay!

  • Bleeding from sores and ulcers: While most ulcers are self-healing or just require the topical application of  a medicament, in case they do not resolve, please visit your dentist immediately.

  • Accidental Bites: Care must be taken not consciously bite till the anesthesia wears off. Children should not be given gums or sticky foods. The harm a sharp object like pencils etc can do to your mouth should be demonstrated clearly.

Dangers of mouth bleeding

In case of injury to the tongue or floor of the mouth, the blood can accumulate in your throat making it hard to breathe. In case these a swelling in the throat, a choking feeling, trouble breathing or swallowing or darkening of the skin over the throat, rush to your nearest OPD.