Bleeding Gums After a Dental Cleaning

A trip to the dentist for a routine cleaning is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. However, if you’ve ever experienced bleeding gums after a dental cleaning, you might wonder whether it’s normal or a cause for concern. Bleeding gums after a dental cleaning are often a temporary and benign occurrence. However, they can also be a sign of underlying issues such as gingivitis or improper oral hygiene techniques.

Bleeding Gums After a Dental Cleaning

Causes of Bleeding Gums After a Dental Cleaning

There are a few reasons you may experience bleeding after a dental cleaning. 


One of the primary causes of bleeding gums after a dental cleaning is gingivitis. This is the earliest stage of gum disease, often characterized by inflammation of the gums due to plaque buildup. During a cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist removes this plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. This process can cause the already inflamed gums to bleed, especially if they are sensitive.


Some have more sensitive gums than others. The scaling and polishing done during a dental cleaning can irritate these sensitive gums, leading to bleeding. This is particularly common if it has been a while since your last cleaning, as there may be more buildup to remove.

Improper Flossing 

If you don’t floss regularly or if you’re using improper flossing techniques, your gums may be more prone to bleeding during a dental cleaning. Flossing helps remove plaque and debris between the teeth and along the gum line. When this debris is not removed regularly, it can lead to gum irritation and bleeding during cleaning.


Certain medications, such as blood thinners, can increase the likelihood of bleeding gums. If you are taking any medications, it’s important to inform your dentist so they can take appropriate precautions during your cleaning.

What to Do About Bleeding Gums After a Dental Cleaning

If you notice bleeding after a dental cleaning, here’s what you should do:

Keep Calm: First and foremost, don’t panic if you notice some bleeding after your dental cleaning. It’s a common occurrence and usually nothing to worry about, especially if it stops within a day or so.

Rinse with Salt Water: A simple and effective remedy for bleeding gums is to rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds. This helps reduce inflammation and promotes healing.

Avoid Aggressive Brushing: While you should always brush your teeth twice a day, be gentle, especially after a dental cleaning. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle, circular motions to avoid further irritation to your gums.

Continue Flossing: Don’t skip flossing because your gums are bleeding. In fact, regular flossing helps remove plaque and bacteria, reducing the risk of gum disease. If you’re unsure about your flossing technique, ask your dental hygienist for guidance during your next visit.

Schedule a Follow-Up: If the bleeding persists for more than a couple of days or if you notice other concerning symptoms, such as persistent bad breath or gum swelling, it’s best to schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist. They can evaluate your gums and determine if further treatment is necessary.