Dental Tips Blog


Is It Normal For Gums to Bleed When You Floss?

Posted in Gum Disease

Many patients tell their dentist, “My gums bleed when I floss, so I don’t do it.”  What they don’t realize, is that they are actually making their “gums” worse by not flossing.  When the gums (gingiva) bleed, it is called “Gingivitis” because the gingiva is inflamed, due to the biofilm buildup, which is a sticky substance produced by the bacteria in your mouth when you eat sugary types of foods.  This biofilm is irritating to the gums, which is why they bleed when you floss.

The good news is that Gingivitis is reversible.  When you floss correctly and regularly, you are helping to remove the biofilm between the teeth.  As a result, the inflammation should go away, you reduce the chances of having Gingivitis, and your gums should stop bleeding when you floss.

Here are some considerations when flossing:

  • It is best to floss your teeth by adapting the floss around the tooth like a “C” and gently wiping up and down along the tooth’s surface, including just below the gumline.  This will allow you to gently and effectively remove the biofilm, which causes your gums to bleed.
  • You should floss your teeth at least one time a day, preferably at night before bed.  This will help to remove the biofilm before you go to sleep so the bacteria is not left in between your teeth all night, making the inflammation worse.

So, it is not normal for gums to bleed when you floss.  It is actually a sign of an active infection in your mouth.  The best thing you can do for your bleeding gums is to continue flossing.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050 

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