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Raise your hand if you like to floss. We’re willing to bet that most people reading this blog probably aren’t members of the We Love To Floss Club because if you were, you probably wouldn’t have done an online search to figure out why your gums are bleeding.

All kidding aside, it’s a great thing that you’ve made the decision to floss. It’s an excellent way to take care of your teeth and overall health. That said, we understand that if you have inflamed gums, flossing can be painful. And who wants to do something that hurts?

In the spirit of turning you into a flossing convert, we hope to answer some of your questions about bleeding gums.

Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

Every time you eat, you leave behind particles of food in between your teeth. If you brush your teeth regularly and floss properly every single day , you remove them.

If you skip a brushing or a flossing, those food particles decompose in your mouth. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria that latch to your gum lines and between your teeth. This causes irritation and inflammation of your gums.

When you brush or floss while you have inflamed gums, you’ll bleed. This is called gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease.

What Causes Gingivitis?

Ok, let’s cover some basics so that you can better understand gingivitis. When a person doesn’t have good oral hygiene, his or her teeth will become covered with a sticky film called plaque.

If not removed, plaque will release acids that will damage your tooth enamel. Eventually, the plaque will calcify and turn into tartar (also known as calculus). The calcification happens around your teeth and underneath the gum line.

This buildup is the cause of gingivitis.

Signs of Gingivitis

You’ll know you have gingivitis if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have red or purplish gums
  • Your gums are swollen
  • Your gums bleed when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath

The problem with gingivitis goes beyond discomfort when brushing or flossing. Left untreated, gingivitis will turn into periodontitis.

Periodontitis is an infection that weakens and destroys the bones that support your teeth. Untreated, this will cause tooth decay and tooth loss.

Signs of Periodontitis

There are several ways to know if a person has periodontitis:

  • Gums easily bleed, even to the slightest touch
  • Receding gum lines
  • Pain when chewing
  • Additional spaces between teeth that weren’t there before
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth

Left untreated, your gums can start oozing pus, the gums will recede even more, and you’ll have a constant foul taste in your mouth.

All of these things can be prevented with proper oral care.

How To Stop Bleeding Gums

If you currently have inflamed gums, bleeding at the beginning is unavoidable. But there are things you can do now so that you can look forward to healthy gums in the future:

1. Go to the dentist: The first thing you should do is go to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Brushing is not going to remove tartar. You’ll need a deep cleaning at the dentist to do that. And until the tartar is removed, you’ll continue having inflamed gums and continue to bleed.

Once you get that first teeth cleaning out of the way, schedule your next appointment before you leave your dentist’s office. Getting your teeth professionally cleaned regularly is crucial for optimal oral care.

2. Brush twice a day: Twice a day is the minimum: In the morning when you wake up, and before going to bed at night. And don’t do it in a hurry. Brush your teeth for two full minutes.

3. Use a soft bristled toothbrush: Some people may think that brushing with hard bristles will help eliminate plaque build-up better, but what can end up happening is damage to your gums and tooth enamel.

Also, replace your toothbrush every three months (a good rule of thumb is to replace it when the bristles start looking frayed).

4. Floss every day: Brushing alone is not going to remove food debris and bacteria from the tight spaces in between your teeth. And as we’ve already discussed above, failing to remove food particles is a slippery slope that leads to gum disease and tooth loss. Floss daily before you go to bed.

In short, your gums will stop bleeding when they become healthy. And for them to be healthy, you have to follow all of the steps mentioned above.

Schedule an Appointment With Us

We know that going to the dentist is rarely someone’s favorite activity. But rest assured, at Impeccable Smiles, our goal is to make our patients feel comfortable and at ease.

Contact us to schedule an appointment and let’s get you on the right track to having healthy gums and teeth.