Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums is among one of the most common conditions affecting the oral cavity. The Chinese might have noticed bleeding gums as early as 2500 BCE. They termed the associated diseases as “Ya Kon” which means diseases of soft tissue surrounding the teeth. Even today, this problem still continues to affect us even with so many modern facilities available in the field of oral care.

Gum disease begins with plaque, a sticky film of food particles, germs and saliva. If not removed, plaque will settle at the gum line. The germs will produce toxins that will make the gums red, tender and likely to bleed when brushing your teeth. There are certain chronic conditions and even some medications that can cause plaque to accumulate more quickly. The purpose of daily brushing, rinsing and flossing is to clean away this plaque. When this plaque is not removed it can harden into tartar which builds up along the gum line and traps germs below. The mildest form of gum disease is called gingivitis and is the most common.

The primary cause of gingivitis is the bacteria that coat your teeth, and if oral hygiene is poor, it forms a sticky white substance called plaque. The bacteria here proliferates faster and produces toxins that irritates your gums, causing them to become swollen and red. When left untreated, they will destroy the tissues connecting the gums to the tooth, and eventually the tooth to the bones. This causes a deep pocket in the gums where the bacteria starts to collect, eventually the bony structure begins to break down. At this stage, the condition has now progressed into what we call periodontitis, an irreversible form of gum disease.

Ayurveda and Bleeding Gums

In Ayurveda, ‘bleeding from gum’ is known as ‘Sheetada’. It is one of the 15 kinds of gum disease (Danta Moolagata Roga).

The Pitta dosha is considered as the primary causative factor for bleeding gums. When the liver is lethargic, the Pitta that is distributed throughout the body starts to travel in one direction. When this congestion of Pitta takes place in the gums, they are unable to hold blood which results in bleeding gums. In the case that there is excess mucus or extreme acidity it may also lead to a bacterial infection that is identified as a Kapha disorder.

Therefore, one of the Ayurvedic treatments for bleeding gums is Shodhana or purification of the body by mild purgation (mridu virechana) and emesis (vamana). This helps to bring balance to the Kapha and Pitta doshas.

Root Causes of Bleeding Gums

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes where bleeding gums are a symptom.

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Gingivitis (or pregnancy gingivitis)
  • Gum disease
  • Periodontitis
  • Trench mouth
  • Poorly fitting dentures and unbalanced bite
  • Leukemia
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy and hormonal imbalance
  • Dry mouth
  • Vitamin deficiency (such as vitamin C and K deficiency – may lead to scurvy)
  • Certain medications (blood thinners are among the biggest culprits)
  • Tobacco use
  • Clenching or grinding teeth


Risk Factors for Gum Disease

While the causes listed above could definitely be at the root of your problems, these are some factors that put you at risk.
Age: The possibility of gum disease increases with age. Adults who are 30 or older have a 50% chance of being affected by gum disease and chances are as high as 70% in those over 65 years of age.
Stress: Stress is linked to multiple health problems, including periodontal disease. Studies show that stress can lower immunity and the body’s ability to fight against infections, like periodontal diseases.
Drugs: As stated above, blood thinners are definitely a trigger for gum-related issues but other prescription medications like anti-depressants, certain heart medications and oral contraceptives may put you at greater risk. Check with your doctor or dentist to determine if your meds are causing your gums problems.
New toothbrush or flossing routine: Changing up your flossing routine or flossing after a few days can lead to bleeding gums. Similarly, switching from a soft-bristled toothbrush to a firm brush may also result in gums that bleed. Choose the right kind of toothbrush with the help of your dental health practitioner. Being too vigorous with a toothpick, floss or interdental brushes can also set off the problem.
Smoking: Smokers are at a much higher risk for gum disease as cigarettes contain dangerous toxins that add to inflammation and decrease the body’s immune response.
Genetics: Some of us are genetically predisposed to gum disease. Your dentist can help you determine your tendency towards gum disease to expedite better management of your oral health.

Symptoms of Bleeding Gums

The following symptoms of bleeding gums are easy to spot. When you look into the mirror, do your gums or teeth look very red? Do your gums appear swollen and are pulling away from the teeth? Touch your gums and see if you feel discomfort or if they feel slightly spongy to the touch.

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding during brushing, or in the saliva, while spitting
  • Eating of any coarse food items may induce bleeding
  • Pus oozing from gums
  • Red, tender or swollen gums
  • Recession of gums from teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose and shaky teeth

Diagnosis of Bleeding Gums

For persistent bleeding gums, there are some essential tests to be performed by a dental professional:

  • Oral examination of the teeth and gums
  • X-rays of teeth, jaw and chest (in order to rule out lung problems which may result in bleeding from the mouth)
  • CBC, blood differential
  • TC, DC, ESR, Hb%, sugar, calcium, urea and creatinine
  • Coagulation factors and serum prothrombin time
  • Bleeding and clotting time

Ayurvedic Treatment for Bleeding Gums

Home Remedies
  • Add a pinch of salt soaked in a glass of lukewarm water to create a saline solution that works as an effective home remedy for bleeding gums. Use this to rinse in the morning and in the evening. This will help increase circulation in your gums and reduce the swelling.
  • Among other time-tested home remedies for gingivitis and bleeding gums is alum. Alum will work well to soothe red and sore gums. Simply dissolve some alum in warm water and use the solution to gargle. Repeat twice daily.
  • Lemons are loaded with Vitamin C and help reduce inflammation. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and add a pinch or two of rock salt. Massage this on your teeth and gums. Let it do its magic for a few minutes, then wash off by rinsing with warm water.
  • Add a teaspoon of triphala churna to half a glass of warm water. Gargle with this solution.
  • Massage the gums with coconut oil in the morning. Do not rinse.
  • Aloe vera can be very helpful in reducing gum inflammation. If you need a natural remedy for bleeding gums, massage some aloe vera pulp on your gums or drink aloe juice regularly to alleviate the condition.
  • Make an herbal mouthwash for bleeding gums with henna. Boil a handful of henna leaves in 300 ml water. Strain and cool to use the solution as best mouthwash for gum disease.
  • The tender leaves of the guava or jamun trees are known for enhancing gum strength when chewed.
  • Garlic infused honey is an excellent antibiotic and antibacterial tonic for the gums. Crush a few garlic cloves and place in a glass bottle. Cover them in honey and let it rest for a day. The next morning apply this mixture to the gums, massaging them gently. Leave the garlic honey in the mouth. Rinse the mouth after 10-15 minutes. This is one of the home remedies for bleeding gums.
  • Neem is antibacterial and astringent that is very healing. Use neem twigs as an herbal alternative to a toothbrush and as a natural remedy for bleeding gums.
  • A small piece of cutch (khadira) may be placed in the mouth to arrest bleeding gums. Khadira bark can also be boiled to make a decoction for gargling purposes.
  • Raw onion as tissue building qualities. Chew on raw onion to in case of spongy and bleeding gums.
Ayurvedic Supplements (to be taken under physician’s guidance – Consult Now)  

           Red Tooth Paste

           Red Tooth Powder

           Irimedadi Taila

           Khadiradi Vati

           Yastimadhu Taila

           Godanti Bhasma

           Kamadugha (Mouktikayukta)

           Bolabaddha Rasa



           Triphaladi Taila

           Arogyavardhini Tablet

  • Eat a diet rich in Vitamin C and calcium as they are effective in reducing gum inflammation.
  • Brush and floss gently using the correct method to do so. Below we have also outlined an alternative to flossing.
  • Chew on raw veggies to boost circulation in the gums, which will lead to less inflammation and bleeding.
  • Avoid the use of tobacco and smoking.
  • Ask your medical practitioner for alternatives to aspirin.
  • Get dentures readjusted to fit better.

Oil Pulling or Oil Swishing for Healthy Teeth and Gums

  • Also known as snigdha gundusha or kavala, this is the practice of swirling a tablespoon of oil in your mouth. Take a tablespoon of warm, organic, unrefined sesame oil, then hold it in your mouth for one minute. Start to gently swish it around in your mouth before expelling it. Brush your teeth as usual.
  • This exercise should be done at least 4 times a week. It is best done in the morning for maximum benefit. Doing this can help prevent cavities, soothe an impacted tooth, tighten receding gums and lessen sensitivity.

How to Brush Your Teeth Correctly

This is how to brush your teeth in order to gain maximum benefits. It is best to choose an herbal toothpaste containing herbs such as neem, triphala, cinnamon, peppermint, clove, fennel, babool and meswak.

  • Push the loaded brush as far as you can into the area where the tooth meets the gum (sulcus).
  • Use a vibrating motion (very small wiggling motion) so that the bristles that are forced into the sulcus and remain there as you vibrate. It’s an agitating type of motion. Do not use wide, circular motions. Repeat this action as you move along the gum line for 3-5 seconds at each spot on both the cheeks and end of the tongue.
  • Repeat this procedure until you have completed both upper and lower gum lines, inside and out. Whenever necessary, spit out any buildup of toothpaste and saliva until you finish. When done, rinse your mouth with filtered water.
  • Do this once a day gradually increasing to twice a day. When you are able to do it twice a day, do so for two weeks. After two weeks, your gums should have become tough and have a pink-white color.

Water Irrigation to Clean Between Your Teeth

  • Another important tool that you should have is a water pik. You may also know it by different names such as “dental water jet” or “dental irrigator.” An oral irrigator works by delivering water at high pressure to the mouth. It looks very much like an electric toothbrush with a stylized tip that flushes out material from in between teeth and under gums. These “water flossers” are available with different kinds of tips to address various dental situations like having implants or braces.
  • An oral irrigator pulls away approximately 50% of the bad bacteria with each use, leaving only good bacteria that are needed to fight microbes. A toothbrush is not designed to clean anything more than 1-3 mm, which is a normal healthy gum condition. Also, flossing can be harsh on the gums if they are not healthy. If one experiences pain while flossing, it usually results in improper cleaning so flossing isn’t an option. Therefore, an oral irrigator is necessary to reach those areas that cannot be maintained with a toothbrush and floss alone.
Yoga Sitkari Pranayama (Teeth Hissing)

According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, this pranayama is extremely beneficial in diseases of tongue, mouth and throat. It is also very effective in curing dental problems like pyorrhea. Use sitkari pranayama as a holistic bleeding gums treatment.

  • Sit in a meditative pose with your eyes closed.
  • Gently press your lower and upper teeth together and open your lips as much as you comfortably can, so your teeth are exposed to the air.
  • Inhale slowly through the gaps in the teeth and make a hissing sound as you take in enough air to fill your lungs.
  • Close the mouth and slowly exhale through the nose.
  • Repeat this process 8-10 times.