Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?

man flossing in mirror

Bleeding gums are one of the most common problems that people report when flossing their teeth. This issue may be widespread, but it’s not something you should just ignore. It can be a sign of serious oral and physical health concerns, and it will only get worse if it isn’t addressed. Here are a few of the things that might be causing your bleeding gums and what you can do to help fix the problem. 

1. You Don’t Floss Often Enough

For most people, bleeding when flossing comes down to just one thing: not flossing enough. If you’re only flossing a few times a week (or even worse, a few times a month), you’re exposing your gums to much more plaque than they can handle. As a result, you may have developed gingivitis.

This early form of gum disease is reversible, but you’ll need to step up your oral hygiene to get your bleeding gums under control. If you start flossing at least once a day for several weeks, you should bleed less and less over time. 

2. You Don’t Floss Well Enough

If you do floss every day but still see a lot of red on the string, you might not be flossing thoroughly enough to get the job done. The goal of flossing is to remove plaque from between your teeth, including below the gum line where your toothbrush can’t reach.

To do this, you’ll need to pull the floss all the way under your gum line several times before moving onto the next tooth. It should take about two minutes to floss all of your teeth well enough to avoid gingivitis.

3. You Take Blood Thinners

Blood thinners are a type of medication that makes it harder for your blood to clot. They’re used to reduce your risk of major issues like stroke and thrombosis, but unfortunately, they also make you much more likely to bleed.

If you’re on any of these medications, even minor scrapes and pressure during flossing might be enough to trigger a bleed. You’ll need to be extra careful when flossing to make sure that your oral hygiene doesn’t suffer due to this problem. 

4. You Have Certain Health Conditions

Some health conditions (including anemia, vitamin deficiencies, and even leukemia) can make your gums more likely to bleed even if your oral hygiene is good.

While this is the least likely cause of this problem, it still may be worth mentioning your bleeding gums to your doctor at your next check-up if you find that this is a persistent issue for you. There may be an underlying problem that you’ll need to address before you can start flossing more comfortably

Book Your Next Oral Health Checkup Today

Regardless of what’s causing them, bleeding gums are never a good sign. If you’ve been struggling with this problem for a while, it’s time to get professional help. 

Here at Coscarella Family Dentistry, we’ve treated countless patients with all kinds of gum problems. We’ll get to the bottom of your bleeding gum issues, give you the treatment you need to work on the root cause, and help you create a plan of action to avoid similar problems in the future. Contact us today to book an appointment and make your bleeding gums a thing of the past.


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