Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?

Woman-Flossing-BathroomThere can be a variety of reasons why your gums bleed when you floss. If you just adopted a daily flossing routine, your gums may not be accustomed to your new regimen yet. In this case, bleeding is normal and should subside within a week. Bleeding gums may also be caused by other factors, such as a vitamin deficiency, ill-fitting dentures, or a side effect of blood-thinning medication. For some patients, bleeding can be a warning sign of gum infection.

Plaque, which is a sticky film made up of bacteria, is the leading cause of infected gums. If dental plaque is not properly removed, it can progress into the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to the late stages of periodontal disease and worsen symptoms of inflammation and bleeding. It is very important to seek a dental professional’s help before the buildup of bacteria causes more damage to the gum tissue. Gum recession and tooth loss are likely to occur if periodontal disease is not treated appropriately.

One of the best ways to prevent gum disease is taking great care of your dental health. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and attending bi-annual dental checkups. Visiting the dentist twice a year can tremendously help in cleaning the deeper areas of the mouth where a toothbrush and floss cannot easily reach. If you notice that your gums are continuously bleeding, then we highly recommend scheduling an appointment at your dental office. Your dentist will be able to perform an oral exam to see if your gums are infected.

The Art of Dentistry provides periodontal care and prevention for patients who need treatment for gum disease. We perform scaling and root planing, which is a non-surgical treatment, to get rid of pockets of bacteria and plaque from the mouth. Another effective option that we offer is laser treatment. Laser treatment can successfully remove bacteria from the mouth and seal gum tissue to the teeth for a more healthy and cosmetically pleasing outcome. We also provide a non-invasive treatment called Perio Protect®. This innovative method of fighting gum disease requires patients to regularly wear a Perio Tray®, which is a device that resembles a mouthguard and delivers medication below the gums. Your dentist may suggest one or more treatment options depending on the severity of the condition.

If you would like more information on periodontal care or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Robin Rutherford, please contact The Art of Dentistry today.