Flossing your teeth everyday is an oral hygiene habit that needs to be embedded into your daily routine if it isn’t already. As you may know, throughout the course of the day bacteria, plaque, and tartar build up along your gum line. Many people reassure themselves that if you can remember to brush it’s okay to forget flossing, this is very untrue. Brushing and flossing your teeth is one of the most iconic duos, without following through with BOTH of these habits routinely your gums may become irritated and inflamed. The most highly cited reasoning behind gums bleeding is this fact alone. There are many ways to prevent and treat the bleeding of gums so read on to uncover why this may be happening to you and how to put an end to it. 

So what are the various reasons your gums may be bleeding when you floss? The answer to this question will vary depending on the state of one’s oral health. It is possible that you may have an underlying health issue or even gum disease but let’s have a look at the most common reasons for this issue. 

Why Do Gums Bleed When Flossing

It is not uncommon for individuals to speed through their everyday oral routine. However, we must remember that we only get two sets of teeth throughout our lifetime. First off, it is best to abandon using a toothbrush that has stiff bristles. Although it may feel like it is getting the job done, it is actually doing more damage to the enamel and gums than you may know. Over time these specific brushes weaken the enamel of your teeth while wearing away your gum line and even cause your gums to bleed. Try a soft bristle brush for 2-3 mins at a 45 degree angle to your gums. 

Flossing The Wrong Way

Who hasn’t used a floss pick to dislodge food from the crevices of their teeth after a meal? Isn’t that what floss is for? Now you’re not wrong, but as previously said, brushing and flossing together are a dynamic duo. They should 9/10 times be done within the same routine process. When you brush your teeth before flossing you are actually loosening up those food particles making it much easier to dislodge them from the cracks of your teeth. To floss correctly you must:

  • Go to the base of the triangle between each tooth
  • Work the floss in between teeth in a cheek to tongue direction – If space between teeth is more compacted make sure to support the floss and avoid going as far as cutting the gum
  • Considerately press the floss against each side of the tooth and pull upward until the area is unloaded
  • Repeat 2-3 times in between each tooth to ensure that not only the food particles are dislodged but also all plaque holding on to the perimeter of the tooth is scraped away.

Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. This disease transpires due to poor or lack of oral health care. It causes redness, swelling, irritation and mild to moderate inflammation of the gums from tartar build up. If your gums are constantly sore and bleeding when examined this may be a sign that you are suffering from periodontal disease. You should visit a dental clinic to ensure that your gums are not at risk if: 

  • You’re of an older age – As you age it’s obvious teeth follow suit. The enamel weakens and there is a gradual build up of bacteria in the mouth. It becomes harder to keep up with oral care routines, putting older individuals at risk of this disease.
  • There is a deformation of your teeth – Crooked or misaligned teeth make brushing and flossing more difficult. Consult a dental professional about orthodontic treatment to avoid bacteria living freely in between these teeth and make brushing less complicated.
  • You suffer from conditions that decrease your immunity – Gingivitis is linked to several autoimmune diseases so be sure to ask a medical or dental professional about how to deal with your specific matter in question.
  • You have poor oral care habits – If you are not completing your oral care routine twice daily you are setting yourself up for unnecessary billing and a load of health issues.
  • You are taking heavy medications – Many medications used to treat cancers, HIV and diabetes reduce the saliva production in the mouth, which alone can impact your oral health. 
  • Always consult your medical or dental professional before undergoing any dental treatment. 

To avoid this build up and bloody mess you must follow these simple steps to intercept such discomfort. 

Prevention of Build up

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Use a toothbrush that isn’t too hard or stiff
  • Floss in between teeth at least once a day to remove hard to reach food particles
  • Visit a dental clinic for an exam and cleaning every six months to a year
  • Try your best to maintain a healthy diet – avoiding unhealthy sugars 
  • Seek the help of a dental professional if you fall under any pain or discomfort immediately

For the sake of your oral health it is important to practice all of these prevention methods to avoid early tooth decay. Resolving oral health concerns at first sight or feeling, with the help of dental professionals can spare you unnecessary expenses and excessive discomfort. 

Flossing is the extension of brushing your teeth. If you are skipping this major oral care routine step you are technically only cleaning 50% of your mouth. If you do not floss frequently enough the tissue between your teeth is not used to being stimulated. You must train your gums to be resilient so that bleeding does not occur. If you haven’t seen a dentist in over six months or more, contact your favourite dental team and book an appointment today for a teeth cleaning and exam!