Why do gums bleed when flossing?

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If your gums bleed when flossing, don’t panic, you’re not alone. Bleeding when flossing is a common dental problem and typically not very serious. If you’re now wondering, ‘why are my gums bleeding?’ it is because your gum tissue is inflamed. This is due to an inflammatory response caused by bacteria that live in our mouth. And these bacteria exist due to a build-up of plaque and tartar, especially between the teeth and along the gum line.

Causes of bleeding gums when flossing

Believe it or not, the bleeding is not because of the flossing, as most would assume. Your gums bleed when flossing because they are already inflamed as they are irritated by the bacteria. Which is why you have bleeding gums when brushing teeth too.You’re flossing or brushing only triggers the existing condition.

Here are some of the common causes:

  1. You haven’t flossed in a while, which is why bacteria has grown. A build-up of plaque is left behind as you are not effectively cleaning it off your teeth.

  2. Practicing poor oral hygiene can lead to major build-up of plaque and tartar, promoting growth of bacteria.

  3. If you are pregnant, there are many hormonal changes happening in your body. These changes can, at times, make the inflammation worse.

  4. Having gum disease can trigger inflammation of the gums. And if left untreated, it may progress to periodontitis, which is a more serious form of gum disease as it goes deep into the roots of your teeth.

  5. Using dental floss in a harsh manner. You need to gently tug and pull it down ensuring it touches the sides of your teeth.

  6. Using a frayed or roughed up toothbrush that is too stiff.

Measures to undertake when your gums bleed when flossing

  1. You can find relief from bleeding gums by placing a damp gauze over the area till the bleeding stops, and then using an ice pack to help with the swelling and inflammation.

  2. Use a good antibacterial mouthwash to rinse as it helps in killing the bacteria and thereby reducing inflammation.

  3. Rinse your mouth with salt water as it will help in not just reducing the bacteria but also to heal it.

  4. Use the correct toothbrush for your type of gums. If you have sensitive gums, opt for soft-bristled toothbrushes. Make sure you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Try the Oral-B Vitality Series Toothbrush . It comes with 2D technology for comprehensive cleaning and its round head oscillates and rotates between your teeth to remove plaque. Additionally, an embedded 2-minute timer helps you to clean effectively for the optimum period. It also comes with a pressure sensor that provides the right amount of pressure while brushing

  5. Avoid smoking if you have bleeding gums or gum disease. Smoking makes it harder for your gums to heal. It also weakens the body’s immune system, making it harder to combat the bacteria that grow on your teeth when there is a huge build-up of plaque.

  6. Eat a lot of crunchy vegetables such as carrots and cucumbers. They will help in keeping your teeth clean as they remove any food residue from between your teeth.

Causes of bleeding gums when flossing undefined

How to floss with bleeding gums?

If you’ve just begun flossing, your gums may bleed as they are not accustomed to the motion. Carry on and after consistently flossing for a few days, it should be fine. Remember that regular flossing helps in maintaining overall oral hygiene. Try using Oral-B’s Essential Mint Dental Floss for effective gum cleaning. It is gentle on your gums and slides easily between the teeth and gets to all the hard-to-reach places to remove build-up of plaque.

Floss your teeth gently by using sufficient pressure to tug at the floss and ensure it touches the sides of your teeth to remove food residue or plaque. When you start flossing, be super careful and do not floss the same area repeatedly. Once your gums have gotten accustomed to flossing, you can be more thorough.

Oral hygiene for the long term

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day with a good toothbrush for effective cleaning.

  2. Floss regularly and use a good antibacterial mouthwash.

  3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle by avoiding too much of sugary and processed foods and eating more healthy foods such as leafy vegetables that are a powerhouse of nutrients. Quit smoking or chewing tobacco.

  4. Go for regular dental checks and dental cleaning sessions.

  5. Get medical check-ups done to detect any health issues that could potentially aid gum disease.

When to see a dentist

Although bleeding gums when flossing is a common issue, it must not be taken lightly. If you notice signs of pain, bleeding or swelling daily, with no signs of improvement after adopting proper oral hygiene, it’s best to see a dentist. Additionally, if your bleeding gums is accompanied by fever of swelling, it could be an infection.

In most cases, bleeding gums can be treated at home with simple measures. Practicing good oral hygiene will ensure good oral health in the long run.

FAQs

Is it normal for gums to bleed while flossing?

If your gums bleed when flossing, don’t panic, you’re not alone. Bleeding when flossing is a common dental problem and typically not very serious. This is due to an inflammatory response caused by bacteria that live in our mouth. And these bacteria exist due to a build-up of plaque, especially between the teeth and along the gum line.

How do I stop my gums from bleeding when I floss?

Floss your teeth gently by using sufficient pressure to tug at the floss and ensure it touches the sides of your teeth to remove food residue or plaque. When you start flossing, be super careful and do not floss the same area repeatedly. Once your gums have gotten accustomed to flossing, you can be more thorough.

How long until gums stop bleeding from flossing?

If you’ve just begun flossing, your gums may bleed as they are not accustomed to the motion. Carry on and after consistently flossing for a few days, it should be fine. Remember that regular flossing helps in maintaining overall oral hygiene.