Do Your Gums Bleed When Flossing?

woman holding side of her face in painIt’s the start of a new day and you’re going through the motions of your morning routine. As you begin flossing, you notice your gums start to bleed in some areas. Is this normal?

While bleeding gums from flossing do not mean your mouth isn’t clean, it can be a sign that you aren’t flossing enough. According to Colgate, “It’s fairly common for gums to bleed when you first begin flossing between teeth, and as long as the bleeding stops quickly, it’s not usually considered a problem.” In other words, continue to floss daily and the bleeding should stop over time.

Causes of Bleeding Gums

Several factors can cause gums to bleed. To help narrow down why you may be experiencing bleeding gums, consider the following reasons:

  • Gingivitis

Plaque buildup along the gumline and in between the teeth that is not removed by daily brushing and flossing can lead to gingivitis – which can cause gums to bleed. Symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are swollen, tender sometimes bleed during brushing. Regular dental checkups and daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to combat this early stage of gum disease.

  • Medications

According to The Americam Dental Association, blood thinning medications can cause bleeding gums. Blood thinners reduce the blood’s ability to clot, which can cause a patient to bleed very easily. Contact your dentist or doctor if you are currently prescribed blood thinners and experience bleeding gums when brushing or flossing.

  • New Flossing Routine

Haven’t flossed in a few days? Going back to a regular routine of flossing after not having done so in a while can cause gums to bleed once you’re back into the swing of things. Flossing more frequently than usual to remove food and plaque from between your teeth can also cause bleeding gums. If it doesn’t clear up within a week, contact your dentist.

  • Vitamin Deficiency

If your body is lacking enough vitamin C or K, you could be more prone to bleeding gums. Contact your doctor to have your vitamin C and K levels checked to see if you are getting the nutrients your body needs.

For more information on gum disease or if you’re experiencing bleeding gums for more than a week, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Your smile is our priority.

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