If your gums start bleeding while you’re flossing, should you keep flossing? Absolutely!
Bleeding while flossing is often a sign that you need to be flossing your gums more thoroughly or frequently—not that they should be left alone. It might sound counterintuitive, but the more you floss, the less your gums will bleed, unless the bleeding is related to physical damage to your gum tissue or a systemic issue. Many patients will stop flossing an area that bleeds, but the best thing to do is to give that area more attention!
Other Reasons Why Your Gums Might Bleed During Flossing
For most patients, simply flossing more often is enough to stop bleeding gums. However, there are several other reasons why your gums could bleed while flossing, including:
- You could be using poor flossing techniques
- You may not be brushing your gums properly while brushing your teeth
- You may have an accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth
- You may have had your teeth cleaned recently and had a lot of build-up removed
- You may have gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease
If the bleeding hasn’t gone away within 3-10 days, schedule an appointment to have your dentist check it out. We’ll evaluate your flossing technique and determine whether you may need a cleaning or periodontal care. Gingivitis and gum disease are both very common, but the good news is that they can be reversed in the early stages.
How Often Should You Floss Your Teeth?
Flossing is very important because it can get into areas that your toothbrush bristles can’t. No matter how well you brush your teeth, if you’re not flossing, you’re essentially only cleaning about 50% of your mouth. If you only floss occasionally, your gums will probably bleed because the tissue isn’t used to the stimulation; regular flossing helps the gum tissue become more resilient.
Although some patients floss after every meal, simply flossing once a day will do wonders for your oral health! The best time to floss is typically before you brush your teeth at the end of the day. This will allow the fluoride to make the most contact with your teeth. If you have questions about how to floss your teeth properly, we’d be happy to give you a demonstration!
The bottom line: your gums may bleed from time to time, and generally, it’s not serious. Start flossing more often, and it should go away. But if your gums bleed regularly, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist! Contact your closest Enamel location or book an appointment online.