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Do Your Gums Bleed When Flossing?

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

It's fairly common for gums to bleed when you first begin flossing between teeth. But don’t worry – as long as the bleeding stops quickly, it's not usually considered a problem.

So while it might feel like the opposite of what you should do, continue to floss daily. It’ll help you get rid of calculus – and though this phenomena may not be a maths problem, it can be a big problem for your mouth. Find out why below.

Causes of bleeding gums – and solutions!

  • Plaque attack. Several things can cause gums to bleed, including plaque buildup along the gumline and between teeth and plaque forming on top of calculus (tartar), thus contributing to gingivitis. Vitamin deficiencies can also contribute to bleeding gums. Plaque is a layer of sticky germs that constantly forms on teeth
  • Calculus conundrum. If you don't get rid of plaque by flossing daily, it turns into a hard layer of calculus. It's hard to remove calculus without a dentist's help, who will clean and scale your teeth
  • Seek help! As such, your first line of defense against bleeding gums should always be a visit with your dentist. He or she will be able to alert you if there's an underlying condition for your bleeding gums

Other ways to treat bleeding gums

It may help to use a rinse to kill germs around the affected area. This keeps any infection from spreading deeper into gums and the roots of your teeth.

You can use home remedies, such as a salt water rinse, or purchase an antimicrobial oral rinse, such as Colgate PerioGard. Just make sure you swish the rinse thoroughly to clean germs off your gums.

Bye-bye bleeding: 3 ways to stop smiling red

  1. Eat a balanced diet to maintain strong, decay-resistant teeth
  2. Brush your teeth at least twice each day. If you're not sure you're brushing correctly, you can ask your dental hygienist for some tips
  3. If you smoke, consider options to help you quit. According to the American Dental Association, using tobacco increases your risk of developing periodontal disease

Original content by Laure Justice