Top Reasons Why Gums Bleed When Flossing

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The American Dental Association recommends that you floss between your teeth at least once a day. Along with proper brushing, daily flossing is the best way to maintain a healthy mouth. But what if your gums bleed when you floss? Well, don’t panic because you are not alone. Here are the top reasons why this happens:

Gum Disease

Several things can cause bleeding gums. The main reason, however, is plaque that has accumulated between your teeth and along your gumline. Dental plaque is a layer of sticky bacteria that forms on your teeth constantly. This retained plaque results in red, sore, and swollen gums. Do your gums bleed when you floss? It is an indication that you may have gingivitis. It is a common and mild form of gum disease. Without prompt treatment, gingivitis can become severe and lead to tooth loss.

Aggressive Dental Routine

Flossing is a vital part of good oral hygiene. It helps in getting rid of plaque and food debris from places that your toothbrush can’t reach. But some people tend to become too aggressive with their flossing habits. Harsh flossing can injure your gums and teeth. Remember that it is your teeth that need to be flossed, not your gums. So, avoid pulling too hard on the thread as you try to get in between your teeth. Otherwise, you would risk pulling the floss down too hard on your delicate gums.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Improper diet may cause deficiencies in specific vitamins. Deficiency in Vitamin C is called scurvy. One of its symptoms includes loose teeth with bleeding gums. Vitamin B3 or niacin is rare. But if your body lacks this water-soluble vitamin, you may experience a sore mouth with bleeding gums. Vitamin A is essential not just for strong bone and teeth formation. It also helps in keeping your skin as well as the mucus membranes of your mouth and lungs healthy. Besides dry, rough skin, Vitamin A deficiency can also cause bleeding gums. Lack of Vitamin K is also known to result in the same adverse effect.

Prevention and Treatment

Excellent dental health is the first step to preventing and managing bleeding gums. It would be best to visit your oral health care professional at least a couple of times a year. Regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings are essential for your oral health.

Proper brushing and flossing play a crucial role in reducing your risk of plaque buildup and dental infections. Your dentist may also recommend the use of antiseptic mouthwash to reduce the plaque that forms in your mouth. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can also relieve inflamed gums that bleed easily, by choosing a soft-bristled brush that is mild on your already irritated gums. Some brush heads are also better at cleaning your gumline than a manual toothbrush. Ensure that you also replace your toothbrush every three months or as soon as the bristles are splayed.

Equally important is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As much as possible, eat a healthy, balanced diet. Limit food and drinks with added sugars and avoid tobacco use.

Paying close attention to your oral health is an investment in preserving your overall health. Don’t wait for any dental issue to get worse.

Learn more about proper dental care, contact Dr. Donald I. Cadle, Jr., DMD, PA., in New Port Richey, Florida at (727) 312-1300 to make an appointment.