Flossing is the unsung hero of your at-home oral hygiene routine. Flossing helps prevent cavities, plaque and tartar buildup, and even bad breath. If you notice some bleeding while flossing, you might wonder if you have a problem like gum disease or just poor flossing techniques.
Dr. Mehrnoosh Darj and her team at Dr. Darj Dental urge you to come visit us any time you notice bleeding gums, as this is a common symptom of gum disease. Gum disease is a progressive disease, and it’s best to receive treatment as swiftly as possible. We also can help you improve your flossing habits if that’s what’s behind your problem.
Is your bleeding caused by gum disease?
Gum disease is a serious condition that can affect your oral health from your gums to your jawbone. Left untreated, gum disease can cause you to lose your teeth. Thankfully, there are warning signs long before you reach that advanced stage of gum disease — and bleeding gums is one of those signs.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and bleeding gums is the tell-tale sign of gingivitis. You might suspect that your bleeding gums are connected to gingivitis if you also notice:
- Tenderness in your gums
- Puffy or swollen gums
- Red gums
If flossing causes bleeding every single time, it’s time to seek professional dental care.
Is your bleeding caused by poor flossing habits?
Although bleeding gums are often linked to gingivitis, they also can be caused by poor flossing habits:
- Flossing too roughly
- Snapping or yanking the floss between teeth near the gumline
- Flossing with dental picks or other sharp instruments
Flossing should be gentle, not rough. Using dental floss, gently pull the floss back and forth in a C-shape around each tooth. Avoid snapping the floss toward your gums, as that can damage your delicate gum tissue.
Tempted to use a toothpick or other sharp object? Flossing with anything other than an ADA-approved floss can increase your risk of damaging your gums. For example, if you poke your gums with a toothpick, they may bleed. Instead, choose waxed dental floss, pre-threaded flossers, or even a water flosser.
Brushing your teeth too vigorously can also cause bleeding gums. Always use a soft bristled brush, use gentle pressure, and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle.
Can anything else cause bleeding gums?
Gum disease and poor flossing habits are the main culprits, but they aren’t the only ones. Bleeding gums can also be caused by smoking, vaping, taking certain medications, and even a misaligned bite.
What to do if you see bleeding gums
Your first step to pain-free, healthy gums is to determine why your gums are bleeding. At Dr. Darj Dental, we can diagnose and treat bleeding gums. Whether you need treatment for gum disease or a brush-up on your at-home oral care routine, we can help make your gums healthier.
If you notice bleeding after your flossing session, schedule an appointment at our office in El Paso, Texas. Call 915-213-4097 or book online today.