Why Do My Gums Bleed When Flossing?

It’s not uncommon to see some blood when flossing your teeth. From time to time this can occur if you have been lax in keeping up with a flossing routine. As long as it stops quickly, it’s probably OK. However, if the bleeding continues each time you floss, it could be something else and you should see your dentist. Time to find out the answer: why do my gums bleed when flossing?

Older woman flossing her teeth

The Purpose Of Flossing

It might be wise to understand why we floss and why East Village Dental Arts makes such a point about its regularity. Every time we eat anything, even a snack, food debris gets between teeth, settles in our mouth and on our gums, bacteria starts to grow and our saliva mixes it up.

Unless we brush several times a day and floss at least twice, we are not removing all the harmful bacteria in our mouths. If we go to sleep without removing it, it can turn into plaque which hardens into tartar. The longer you wait to floss the debris, the harder it will be to remove.

Bad breath, anyone? Don’t be tempted to stop flossing if you see blood. It usually means you need to floss more frequently. What other reasons contribute to bleeding while flossing?

Periodontal Disease

The bleeding could very well be a sign of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an inflammation of your gums which can be treated and improved if caught early enough. The inflammation is due to the plaque, bacteria, and tartar left at the gumline and underneath.

This can be accomplished at regular cleanings with East Village Dental Arts in New York, NY. It is essential to catch periodontal disease early or you can eventually lose teeth. Once healed, keeping up with your oral health regimen is paramount.

Other Causes For Bleeding Gums When Flossing

  • Medical conditions like uncontrolled diabetes can lead to tender gums and bleeding.
  • Vitamin C and K deficiencies can make gums bleed when flossing.
  • Hormonal changes during a woman’s menstrual cycle or when pregnant, hormone changes during puberty, menopause, and taking birth control can all contribute to bleeding gums.
  • Using an old toothbrush or brushes that are too hard can make your gums bleed. Always choose a soft or medium toothbrush.
  • Flossing incorrectly can be a major cause of bleeding gums. Read this explanation of the correct flossing technique or have East Village Dental Arts show you during your next visit.

If you are noticing bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth, call (212) 979-6300 to make an appointment with East Village Dental Arts.


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