What If My Gums Are Bleeding?

Mar 4th, 2019
Easton Dentists Apr 4th, 2019

One of the top concerns of our patients at the Easton Dental Center have with their gums, it is that say that their gums bleed when they floss, and this is the reason why they stop flossing. If it is felt that flossing is not the issue, patients often say that their gums are overly sensitive, and that is why they bleed. We have also have heard from some female patients that they feel that gum bleeding may coincide with their monthly period.

After divulging that they their gums are bleeding at times, we usually hear “but a little bleeding is OK, isn’t it?”  Unfortunately, it is not.

Bleeding gums while flossing or brushing is neither healthy or normal.  Despite what you may have heard, noticing blood while brushing or flossing is a dental issue that needs to be addressed!

Having bleeding gums is a sign that a problem is present, and flossing too hard is not the primary cause, unless you are injuring your gums with a too aggressive flossing technique. Normally though, you just need a slight change to your dental care regimen.

Healthy gums should not be sensitive, nor should there be bleeding. This is a sign of an underlying battle occurring in your mouth, an inflammation caused by bacteria building up around your teeth and into your gums.  This is a symptom shouldn’t be overlooked and needs to be taken seriously.

If you don’t brush or floss often enough with the correct technique, dental plaque, a sticky biofilm of bacteria, grows and accumulates on the surfaces within your mouth and under the gum line. This condition bacteria accumulation leads to the inflammation of the gums, called disease called “gingivitis”.

More often than not, anyone who does not floss for a period of 2 weeks will likely develop gingivitis. Gingivitis can manifest itself in a mild or in a very aggressive and acute form, depending on the kind of bacteria involved.  This condition is completely reversible and heals after a professional dental cleaning and some changes in the oral care routine.

When plaque is not removed above and below the gum line for a long period of time, it hardens and turns into calculus (tartar) that will further irritate and inflame the gums, along with destroying the bone.

If gingivitis is left untreated and if some other risk factors (smoking, diabetes, stress or genetic factors) are present, a much worse condition can occur.  This is a degenerative disease called “periodontitis”, which can lead to tooth loss.

Daily flossing is the best method to clean between the teeth and under the gum line in the prevention of this disease. Flossing not only helps cleaning these areas, but it also disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Flossing cleans areas where toothbrushes can’t: if you are not flossing, you are only cleaning approximately 55% of all the areas in your mouth. If you floss infrequently, you can expect to see gum bleeding when flossing because plaque can form in a few hours and the tissue between your teeth won’t be used to stimulation. Once you start correctly brushing and flossing, your gums may feel sore and bleed a bit, but the bleeding should subside in a week or so. Regular flossing the gum tissue between your teeth makes them more resilient, clean and healthy.

Most patients will stop flossing an area that bleeds when flossed, though the opposite should occur. If bleeding occurs, you should change your habits and properly brush and floss more often. If you have been flossing for 7-10 days and your gums are still bleeding, it is time to see your dentist. Let your dental professionals evaluate your flossing technique and whether there is a need for gum treatment.

Comments are closed.