Have you started to notice streaks of blood every time you floss? It may not seem like a big issue, but it is definitely a cause of concern that leaves you wondering if you are doing something wrong. But fear not because bleeding gums can actually be a sign that you need to floss more, not less. Let’s discuss why this might happen and what you can do about it.
Are Bleeding Gums A Sign Of Periodontal Disease?
Your gums protect your teeth from harmful bacteria and anchor them in place. Healthy gums look naturally pink and should not bleed when brushing or flossing. However, if you do see its presence, the culprit is often periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease encapsulates both stages – gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the initial stage where the bacteria from your food forms sticky plaque on your teeth. This condition is common among people of all ages. When you do not follow oral hygiene protocol religiously, plaque hardens into tartar, increasing the risk of decay and periodontitis.
Bacteria, plaque, and tartar accumulation along your gum line irritate and inflame your gums. As a result, they lose their healthy pink color and start receding from your teeth. Therefore, when you try removing it through brushing or flossing, your inflamed gums bleed.
Moreover, if you leave this condition untreated, gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, the most severe form of periodontal disease. This condition causes even more havoc – gum sensitivity, gum recession, and, eventually, tooth loss.
How to Floss Correctly
It is a well-established fact that brushing is crucial to getting rid of bacteria and plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. But even the most advanced toothbrushes cannot reach those tight spaces between your teeth or beneath your gum line. This is where flossing comes to the rescue. Floss thread accesses those hard-to-reach areas to remove plaque before it solidifies into tartar.
To floss correctly:
- Use a soft dental floss thread and gently slide it back and forth between your teeth.
- Move it below your gums by pushing it against your tooth and sliding it up and down. Be gentle and avoid snapping the floss into your gums.
You must note that starting a new flossing regime may lead to some light bleeding, which should subside within a few minutes. This should go down to zero within a few days after your mouth accepts it as a new normal. However, if you experience heavier bleeding or if the bleeding persists, it might indicate an incorrect flossing technique or an underlying medical condition.
Seeking Professional Help
You must put effort into identifying the root cause and seek appropriate treatment. The route of action depends on your underlying issue. If gum disease is the culprit, your dentist or a periodontist may recommend:
- Better oral hygiene practices at home.
- Antibiotics to get rid of infection.
- Tooth scaling and root planing for deep dental cleaning.
- Surgery to minimize the pockets around your teeth.
- Laser periodontal surgery for advanced cases.
Bleeding gums might be a common concern, but it does not mean you stop flossing. In fact, consider it a warning sign indicating that you should be more diligent towards your oral hygiene routine. You can always contact dental care experts from Lonestar Dental Center to help you with your queries. Let our team take the lead and guide you toward the best possible treatment for your bleeding gums. Connect with us via call at (281) 233-0333 for more information on this matter.