Have you ever experienced bleeding while flossing? If so, there are a number of different reasons. While some are more alarming than others, none of the causes are natural. Here are some of the things that may cause your bleeding and a little information on how to care for each cause.
Gingivitis and Gum Disease
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that precedes periodontitis (gum disease). If you are experiencing gingivitis, it is important to take care of it before infection sets in. You will recognize gingivitis by mild swelling in the gums. If you care for your teeth regularly and stick to a good schedule of professional dental cleaning, gingivitis should clear up on its own. If you reach gum disease stage, your dentist will have to help you clear it up, so take good care of those gums.
For pregnant women, gingivitis is a particular concern. Changing hormones can result in an increase in dental bacteria. This can lead to gingivitis and gum disease. If you experience bleeding while brushing or flossing during pregnancy, talk to your dentist. Controlling gingivitis is important for your health and the health of your unborn child.
Just Getting Back Into Your Flossing Routine
If you haven’t flossed for a while (or ever), you are likely to bleed a little at first. If it doesn’t stop within a week of regular flossing, then you are likely experiencing gingivitis or another cause. Again, bleeding isn’t normal, so if you think you just missed a day or two of flossing, and then you bleed, you probably missed several days or more.
Your Toothbrush Is too Firm
Soft bristles are really all you need for brushing (medium at most). If you get a firm toothbrush, it may irritate your gums. Since the gums are already irritated, they are more prone to bleed when you floss. You can talk to your dentist about what type of brush is best for you.
Medications that Reduce Clotting
Certain medications may make a person bleed more easily. You should always keep your dentist up to date on any medications that you are taking. Your dentist can help you to determine how to control bleeding while you floss.
Obviously, some of the causes of bleeding gums are more serious than others. There’s no need to call your dentist if you just started flossing for the first time or if you didn’t floss for a few days while on vacation. However, if your gums are red and inflamed, it may be a sign of gum disease which will require the help of your dental professional.