Many people experience bleeding when they floss between their teeth. This can have several causes and should be taken seriously. Repeated bleeding when you floss may warrant a visit to your dentist or doctor.
Bleeding When You Floss Could Be a Sign of Gum Disease
Bacteria in plaque can irritate gum tissue and cause tenderness and swelling. If your gums bleed every time you floss, it is likely that you have some form of gum disease. If gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, is not treated, it can progress to the more serious form of periodontitis. This can lead to tissue damage and tooth loss if it is not treated.
Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, along with professional cleanings, can remove plaque and can often reverse gingivitis. You should visit your dentist for an exam and cleaning if you suspect you may have gum disease. Your dentist will be able to diagnose your gum disease and see how far it has progressed.
Your dentist or hygienist can clean your teeth to remove plaque under your gum line and tartar that has hardened on your teeth. If you have a lot of plaque and serious gum disease, your dentist may have you come in a few times a year for cleanings.
If your gum disease has progressed to the stage of periodontitis, you may need a deeper cleaning. Your dentist or hygienist may perform scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar under your gum line from the roots of your teeth.
Your Gums May Bleed When You Start Flossing
If you do not make a regular habit of flossing and then start, it is possible that your gums will bleed at first. This is because plaque has accumulated under the gum line and the flossing causes irritation to the gums. You should continue flossing if your gums bleed because it will remove the plaque. The bleeding should stop within about a week.
Your Gums May Bleed When You Floss for a Medical Reason
Bleeding when you floss can have other causes. If you take blood thinning medication and your gums bleed when you floss, talk to your doctor. Pregnant women often develop pregnancy gingivitis because hormonal changes increase sensitivity to bacteria in plaque. If you are pregnant, you should brush and floss daily and visit your dentist at least once during your pregnancy.
Make an Appointment for an Exam and Cleaning
If your gums bleed when you floss and you are concerned that you may have gum disease, schedule an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut. We will examine your gums and perform a cleaning to remove plaque. Make an appointment for an exam and cleaning today.