What to Do If Your Gums Bleed When You Floss

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.

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Don’t Overlook These Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common problem that affects about half of adults in the United States. This chronic condition can affect your health in many other ways, which is why it is important to recognize the early signs of gum disease and get the condition treated before it progresses.

Bleeding Gums

If your gums bleed when you brush and floss, that is a sign of gum disease. Not flossing regularly causes bacteria to build up below the gum line, which can cause your gums to bleed when you brush. Your gums may also be swollen, red, or sore, and your teeth may be sensitive.

People often think that they should not floss if their gums bleed, but not flossing will only make the problem worse. Plaque will destroy the fibers that attach your gums to your teeth. Bleeding gums can also allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and can lead to other problems, such as blood clots, that can cause a heart attack or stroke.

Gum Recession and Pockets

If your teeth appear longer than they should, that is a sign that your gums are receding. Gum recession occurs when gum tissue is lost from around the tooth and the root is exposed.

Gum pockets are spaces that form between teeth and gums. Pockets can form around the roots of teeth and become filled with food and debris. The pockets can get deeper as the gum disease worsens.

Gum recession or pockets can cause your teeth to be sensitive when you consume hot or cold beverages. Inflamed gum tissue exposes the roots of the teeth, which makes them more susceptible to decay, wear in the roots, sensitivity, and tooth loss.


High blood sugar associated with Type II diabetes can put you at higher than average risk for gum disease. Symptoms of high blood sugar can include excessive thirst, headaches, difficulty concentrating, vision problems, frequent urination, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss.

Schedule an Appointment for an Exam and Cleaning

If you suspect you may have gum disease, you should visit your dentist for an exam and cleaning as soon as possible. You should also brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day to remove plaque from your teeth and gums. If you need an exam and cleaning, schedule an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut today.

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Fried Dentistry at the 2017 Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic in New Haven

Dr. David Fried of Fried Dentistry was proud to participate in the 10th Annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy free dental clinic held at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on April 7 and 8, 2017. At the annual event, dentists and other dental professionals provide free care to thousands of local residents in need. The Mission of Mercy free dental clinic is sponsored by the Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach and the City of New Haven. Read more