Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?
In general, gums that bleed when you floss, brush, or rinse point to two potential scenarios: minor injury or gum disease. The latter, also known as periodontal disease, is extremely common in the United States, particularly in those with poor dental hygiene. With the help of an experienced dentist, like those on our team at Signature Smiles, early-stage gum disease is treatable, but should be addressed immediately to ensure it does not worsen, as untreated gum disease can lead to serious complications that can affect the entire body.
Gum disease is traditionally divided into three stages:
- Gingivitis, the most basic form of gum disease, which is reversible when treated properly. During this initial stage, plaque gathers in the gums, causing them to swell, redden, become tender, and often bleed.
- Periodontitis, which is diagnosed when the plaque and tartar have formed pockets of bacteria between the teeth and gums. As a result, gums may begin to recede, bone loss can occur, and teeth can become loose. Unfortunately, gum disease that has progressed to this stage cannot be reversed (though its symptoms can be brought under control with a professional’s help).
- Advanced periodontitis, characterized by extreme inflammation in the mouth that can begin to affect the rest of the body. This requires more in-depth treatment to minimize further damage.
Thankfully, gum disease can be treated with deep cleaning with scaling and root planing. Using state-of-the-art technology, we can thoroughly remove bacteria buildup along the gumline before it begins to affect the teeth and jawbone. Scaling and root planing can also encourage successful gum tissue healing. As we stated before, we recommend you consider these procedures as soon as possible to stop the spread of harmful bacteria.
Meanwhile, maintaining oral health at home is also essential in preventing gum disease. Be sure to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, and attend your regularly-scheduled dental exams. Please also note that while gum disease can often be prevented by at-home care, patients cannot cure gum disease on their own. In fact, those who try to cure their own periodontal disease by brushing or flossing harder have been known to worsen the condition. As such, bleeding gums or related symptoms should always be brought to the attention of our team at Signature Smiles.
You are always welcome to come to our team with questions and concerns. For more information about periodontal care, feel free to contact us today.Previous Post