5 Reasons why your gums bleed when you floss your teeth


Flossing is essential for your oral health. Other than brushing, flossing daily helps you remove the buildup of plaque from teeth before it becomes as hard as tartar.

When you fail to floss regularly, your gum line becomes irritated, swollen, and inflamed. In your gumline, bacteria, plaque, and tartar start building up. When this happens, your gums look very unhealthy, and you might notice that your gums are beginning to pull back from your teeth. Sometimes you will see blood while flossing or brushing.


It is common for your gums to bleed when you floss in between your teeth for the first time, and there is nothing to worry about if the bleeding stops in less time. But if bleeding occurs daily, you might get upset. Here are a few reasons why your gum bleeds while flossing:


1. Plaque buildup: Many things can cause your gum to bleed, including plaque buildup along your gum line and between your teeth. When plaque builds up on top of calculus, it results in gingivitis. The deficiency of vitamins also leads to bleeding gums. A plaque is a sticky germ that forms consistently on your teeth.


2. Periodontal disease: One of the common reasons why your gums bleed while flossing is periodontal disease. If caught early, it is reversible but with proper treatment. It happens because of the tartar that is deposited beyond the gum tissue. Your dentist will carry out dental cleaning to remove the tartar and the plaque. Your gums will start healing independently, and if you follow proper oral care at home, no other kind of treatment is required. But if your periodontal disease is advanced, it will weaken the bone that supports your teeth, and eventually, you might even lose your teeth.


3. Hormonal changes: The hormonal changes can also lead to changes in blood vessels and your body's immune response, leading to bleeding gums no matter the amount of plaque and bacteria present. One of the best ways to control your bleeding gums is to clean your teeth diligently, specifically near the gumline.


4. Flossing in the wrong way: How you are flossing also affects your gumline. Make sure you act gently and focus on your way up and down in every tooth curve. It is imperative to discuss with your dentist proper flossing to get the required results.


5. Lack of vitamin K: If you notice that your gums are bleeding, it might be because of a deficiency of vitamin K. This vitamin K helps quickly clot your blood and is also best for your bones. When you do not get it in enough amounts, it leads to bleeding issues.


No matter the cause of your bleeding gums, you must visit your dentist as soon as possible. They can alert you if there is an underlying condition that is causing bleeding gums.

Some other ways through which you can treat bleeding gums

  • Rinse your mouth to kill the germs present in the affected area. This helps stop the infection from spreading deep into your teeth' gums and roots. You can also use salt water rinsing or buy any oral antibacterial rinse. Ensure you are swishing the rinse perfectly to clean all germs present in your mouth.
  • Always eat a balanced diet to maintain solid and decay-resistant teeth.
  • Brush your teeth two times a day. If you are unsure how to brush your teeth correctly, you can ask your dentist for some excellent tips.
  • If you are a smoker, consider quitting. Tobacco enhances the risk of getting periodontal disease.

Besides all precautions and measures, it is vital to visit your dentist at least two times a year for dental examinations, cleaning, and dental X-rays. During your dental visit, your dentist will screen for oral cancer and look for cavities and broken teeth. They will also carry out a periodontal examination to determine whether your gums are healthy or not and whether you require a different and more profound kind of teeth cleaning. MyDentalPlan is an excellent platform where you will get access to several dentists. So, you must see a dentist sooner if you notice any oral pain, bleeding gums, and swelling.




About the Author:

Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer

Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst


  • C.M Academy
  • Attended the Panjab University- Chandigarh, Pharma post-graduate in Pharmacology

Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.

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