How to Stop Bleeding Gums: 12 Treatment Approaches
Read more about what causes gums to bleed.
Bleeding gums may result from periodontal diseases, which affect the gums and teeth. Many periodontal diseases, including gum disease, occur due to bacteria and plaque buildup.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that you can control this buildup and the bleeding it may cause by:
- brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for about 2 minutes
- flossing daily
If you have sensitive gums that bleed easily, try using oral hygiene products such as:
- toothbrushes labeled as “sensitive” or “extra soft”
- water flossers instead of string floss
- electric toothbrushes with pressure sensors
The American Dental Association also recommends replacing your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3–4 months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed or matted.
A cool compress may relieve pain and bleeding if you have an injury inside the mouth.
First, rinse the mouth with cool water for a few minutes before spitting. Then place ice or a cool pack in a clean cloth and apply the compress to the affected area or gum line for 10–15 minutes.
Dentists may use clean, damp gauze to control bleeding. If you have sterile gauze, hold it gently against the affected gum until the bleeding slows or stops.
Contact a dentist if the bleeding does not stop.
Hydrogen peroxide and chlorhexidine mouthwashes may help reduce bleeding from the gums.
However, researchers from a 2016 study suggest that chlorhexidine may be more effective than hydrogen peroxide in treating periodontitis, a gum disease.
Concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and chlorhexidine in mouthwashes can vary. Contact a dentist or a pharmacist for advice on what over-the-counter (OTC) products may be best for you.
You can use a saline or saltwater solution if you do not have a mouthwash.
Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup or 250 milliliters of water until it is dissolved. Rinse with the solution for a few minutes and then spit it out. You can repeat this a few times throughout the day. However, make sure to make a fresh solution each day.
Oil pulling is a mouthwash technique that involves swishing certain oils around the mouth for about 20 minutes.
A 2020 pilot study suggests that oil pulling with coconut oil for 30 days reduced gum bleeding and plaque. However, further research is needed to confirm its benefits.
To oil pull, researchers recommend:
- using food-grade cold-pressed coconut, sunflower, or sesame oil
- using a tablespoon of oil for adults, or a teaspoon for children over age 5
- oil pulling in the morning before brushing the teeth and eating
- making sure to sit upright
- avoid swallowing the oil
Oil pulling is not recommended for children under 5 years old.
A 2016 study suggests that stress can contribute to decreased oral health. Managing stress may help prevent and alleviate gum conditions.
Researchers also suggest that people who experience stress regularly care for their oral health.
Read more about how to manage stress and relieve symptoms.
Tobacco products are a significant cause of severe gum disease in the United States, according to the CDC. Tobacco products can include:
- chewing or spit tobacco
- vapes and electronic cigarettes
If you have bleeding gums and use tobacco, try to reduce your usage as much as possible. Dentists may also require you to stop using tobacco products if you need further dental care, such as surgery.
Learn more about how to quit smoking and other tobacco products.
A 2021 review suggests that drinking green tea can improve periodontal health and healing and even reduce bleeding from the gums.
However, green tea may increase the risk of bleeding for people who take aspirin. It may also not be suitable for people taking Warfarin. Pregnant or lactating people should limit intake to 2 cups daily.
Curcumin is a plant-derived substance with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-decay effects.
A 2020 study suggests that taking curcumin capsules of 80 milligrams reduced gum bleeding and inflammation in people with gum disease.
Curcumin is also present in turmeric, so adding turmeric to your diet may help.
Dietary factors can influence your oral health significantly.
For example, high carbohydrate intake and sugary diets may worsen oral health and dental decay. As a result, limiting your carbohydrate and sugar intake to the recommended amounts may support gum recovery.
Read more about how much sugar per day you should eat.
Other nutrients can play important roles in supporting oral health. Deficiencies in the following nutrients may lead to gum bleeding, inflammation, or slow oral healing:
Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help improve your oral recovery. Supplementation with other nutrients, such as vitamin B and omega-3s, may also support oral healing.
Learn more about dietary recommendations for macronutrients and micronutrients.
What is the fastest way to stop bleeding gums?
The fastest way to stop bleeding gums is with direct pressure from a clean, damp gauze or washcloth, or rinsing with warm salt water.
Finding out the underlying cause is the key to stopping bleeding long term, so visit your dentist if your gums continue to bleed after trying the approaches in this article.
Jennifer Archibald, D.D.S. Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
How often you should visit a dentist can depend on personal factors. However, it is important to visit a dentist regularly for general checkups.
It is also advisable to visit your dentist if:
- you experience any symptoms of oral conditions, such as bleeding, pain, or changes to taste
- your symptoms do not improve quickly or with proper oral hygiene
- you experience risk factors for dental conditions
- you have other conditions affecting oral health
Read more about the risk factors for periodontitis.
If you cannot afford dental care, you may be able to access clinical care through:
- the Health Resources and Services Administration, which maintains a network of clinics with reduced-cost care
- local dental schools
- your state dental organization, who may signpost you to dentists who provide reduced-cost care
Methods to stop bleeding gums can include good oral hygiene and eating a nutritious diet. Other approaches, such as stopping smoking, taking supplements, and using cold compresses, may also help.
Techniques to stop bleeding gums may work by reducing inflammation, promoting healing, and preventing further gum disease.
Contact a dentist for any symptoms, including bleeding, that do not improve within a few days. Contact a dentist if you have questions about how to care for your oral health or what OTC remedies may help.