Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?

February 15, 2024
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There’s no doubt that brushing your teeth and flossing gums is an integral part of one’s dental care. But what if you notice that your gums bleed every time you floss?

While this might be an alarming sight, it isn’t all that uncommon. There are numerous reasons that can cause your gums to bleed. However, given how sensitive gums are, the smallest irritant can cause them to rupture. To learn why this happens, make sure to keep reading this blog.

Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?

Bleeding gums during flossing can occur due to numerous factors, but some of the most common reasons are:

  1. Gum Disease
    Gum disease is known to cause inflammation of the gums. When plaque builds up along the gumline, it can irritate and inflame the gums, causing them to bleed easily when you floss.
  2. Poor Flossing Technique
    Flossing aggressively or using an improper technique can damage the delicate gum tissues. Make sure that when flossing, you are sliding the floss between your teeth without being aggressive or forcing the thread through.
  3. New to Flossing
    If you do not have a habit of flossing regularly, your gums may be more sensitive when you finally do. Consistent flossing helps strengthen the gums and reduces the likelihood of bleeding.

How to Prevent Gums From Bleeding

Even though it is normal for your gums to bleed when you just start flossing, it can be a little damaging, especially if no measures are taken to stop it. Ignoring bleeding gums may lead to more severe dental issues, such as gingivitis or periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease that can result in tooth loss. Nevertheless, to avoid severe dental concerns, take a look below to see how you can prevent your gums from bleeding when you floss.

  1. Make flossing a daily habit to keep your gums healthy.
  2. Select a soft, waxed floss to minimize irritation. Avoid using toothpicks or sharp objects, as they can harm your gums.
  3. Use a gentle touch when flossing. Slide the floss between your teeth with a sawing motion and curve it around each tooth before gently sliding to and fro. This ensures effective cleaning without causing damage.
  4. Schedule regular check-ups with your dentist to identify and treat early signs of gum disease.
  5. Swish a mouthful of antibacterial and alcohol-free mouthwash to rinse out the blood.

In A Nutshell

As concerning as it may be to find your gums bleeding when you floss, it isn’t something to worry about. Usually, the bleeding lasts only for a few moments before stopping on its own. However, in the case that the bleeding doesn’t stop or occurs every day, visit Dr. Huzefa Saifee. He is a board-certified periodontist who has a Master of Medical Sciences degree in oral biology from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Aava Dental at (818) 792-4500 (North Hollywood) or (805) 953-4069 (Oxnard) today!

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