Call Us: 587-400-1101 APPOINTMENT REQUEST

6 Reasons Why Gums Bleed When Flossing

It’s common. Gums bleed when flossing, and they bleed for a number of reasons:

  • Bacteria may be building up around a poorly restored filling or crown causing irritation to gum tissue
  • You may be using poor flossing techniques when you floss
  • You may not be brushing your gums properly when brushing your teeth
  • A hard deposit called tartar (calculus) may be present on your teeth
  • You are not be keeping current with your cleanings
  • You have had your teeth cleaned recently and had a lot of build-up

If your gums bleed when flossing, this may be a sign of gum disease (gingivitis) or irritation. Keep reading to determine whether or not you should make an appointment with your dentist.

What should you do if your gums bleed when flossing?

If your gums bleed when flossing, floss. It may seem like flossing is doing more harm than good, but the bleeding will go away with enough proper flossing. Unless there is a systemic problem or actual physical damage to the gum tissue, keep flossing. The bleeding should stop within 3-10 days.

Most patients will stop flossing an area that bleeds when flossed. If your gums bleed when flossing, properly brush and floss the area more often. Then have your dentist look at it. If you have been flossing for 7-10 days and your gums still bleed when flossing, you should see a dental hygienist. Let your dental hygienist evaluate your flossing technique and whether or not there is a need for gum treatment. They are experts in gum disease!

How often should you floss your teeth?

Flossing gets where toothbrushes can’t. If you are not flossing, you are only cleaning 50% of all the areas in your mouth. If you only floss once in a while, your gums will bleed when flossing. The tissue between your teeth is not used to being stimulated. When you floss often and regularly, the gum tissue between your teeth becomes more resilient and stops bleeding when flossed. We recommend our patients floss once a day. The best time to floss is before you brush your teeth before bed. This allows the fluoride in your toothpaste to contact the most surface area of your teeth. If gums bleed when flossing, we recommend flossing after each meal until bleeding subsides in 3-10 days.

If you don’t like to floss, try using a WaterPik. A WaterPik is not an alternative to flossing, but it is better than not flossing at all. It iss ideal for those who have trouble with their hands and cannot hold floss or floss picks.

What is the proper technique for flossing teeth?

Floss is not a toothpick. Yes, it can dislodge food particles above the triangle of gum between each tooth. But the purpose of flossing is removing that slimy, goopy plaque that grows between the tooth and the gum. To achieve this:

  1. Go to the base of the triangle between each tooth with the floss.
  2. Go down as far as you can go with the floss, without cutting your gum.
  3. When working the floss between your teeth(which are supposed to be tight), move the floss back and forth in a cheek-to-tongue direction. Don’t let the floss snap into your gums. This is what cuts the gum tissue.
  4. Position the floss between your tooth and gum tissue.
  5. With the floss in a shape, gently push the floss against your tooth and scrape straight upward. Do this to each tooth separately, two times to each side of each tooth.

Will brushing your teeth keep gums from bleeding when flossing?

Brushing, like flossing, is simple to do and can also be done improperly. When brushing your teeth with a manual toothbrush:

  1. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles only.
  2. Gently brush your gums when brushing your teeth. Target the crevices between the teeth and gums with half the bristles brushing the gums and half the bristles on the teeth. Don’t forget to brush behind the last tooth on each row.

Once you start brushing correctly, your gums may feel sore and bleed a little. Any bleeding should subside in a week or two.

We recommend and offer Philips Sonicare Toothbrushes at Sherwood Dental. They are the best for achieving better oral health! Read about them here: Philips Sonicare Toothbrushes: Ideal For Achieving Better Oral Health

If your gums bleed when flossing, and you have been flossing your teeth every day for a week to 10 days, please call Sherwood Dental at (780) 464-4166 today. Let one of our dentists evaluate your flossing technique and whether or not there is a need for gum treatment. Remember, brush and floss only the teeth you want to keep! Keep smiling beautifully!

Source: https://doctorbase.com/ask-a-doctor/366/Is-it-common-to-experience-bleeding-gums-when-flossing

Share this article:

Oral Hygiene

What You Need to Know About Dry Mouth

Everyone’s mouth feels dry from time to time but when this feeling doesn’t go away you may have a problem such as Dry Mouth. Dry Mouth is when you do not have enough saliva to keep your mouth wet and moisturized. Although you may not be experiencing a completely dry oral cavity, even low production […]
Read More

How to Go Green with Your Dental Routine

With earth day on the mind, it is a good time to make some small eco-friendly changes in your life; including your dental routine. A better environment starts little by little with eco-friendly practices. While you’re keeping your mouth healthy, why not take some steps to help keep the Earth healthy too? Here are our […]
Read More

Can CBD Be Used for Dental Visits?

  Since the legalization of marijuana in 2018, CBD has been gaining popularity in mainstream markets, including dental. It’s not uncommon to see health care and beauty companies coming out with products containing hemp or CBD, including toothpaste and mouthwash. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the two major compounds found in cannabis and hemp […]
Read More
View All