Brushing and flossing should be a daily activity for anyone who wants to preserve their teeth. We stick to these practices day in and day out because the challenges to our teeth are renewed with every bite of food and every drink that isn't water. Bacteria that live in our mouth use the raw materials provided in our diet to grow on our teeth and gums.
But what does it mean when, after flossing, you realize your gums are bleeding? Should you be alarmed? Dr. Michael Gostigian, DMD and our team at Bonita Grande Dental in Bonita Springs, FL can help you ascertain why your gums are bleeding and what to do about it.
Misconceptions around Oral Home Care
First, most people usually brush and floss simultaneously, so if you notice blood after flossing, it could be related to your toothbrush. Second, most dentists recommend you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and that you should use moderate force when brushing. Using too much pressure or too rough a toothbrush could abrase your gums and cause bleeding. Try easing up to see if bleeding persists.
We can say the same thing about flossing; it's still possible to floss too roughly and cause bleeding. This is a reason to use waxed floss, which slips more smoothly between teeth and gums, promoting a gentler cleaning.
Could I Have Gum Disease?
If you have taken care to brush and floss thoroughly yet gently, and you still notice bleeding in your gums, then it's worth investigating. Pay attention because bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis, the early form of gum disease. This condition appears when plaque-building bacteria accumulate on your gums and teeth, causing inflammation and tissue damage.
Along with bleeding gums, other signs you may have gingivitis are:
- Your gums look red and feel swollen
- Bad breath that persists
- Slight loose feeling in your teeth
A Dental Visit Will Settle the Question
Ultimately, a consistent dental maintenance routine is the only way to confirm the presence of gingivitis. Unfortunately, the truth is that gum disease is difficult to assess because it progresses slowly and is mostly painless in the earliest stages. But it inevitably progresses in the absence of routine dental care, which is when it can endanger your oral health.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Dentist in Bonita Springs!
When you experience bleeding gums when flossing, it could mean several things. But if you are careful with your home-care tools, then bleeding gums may indicate the presence of gum disease.
Don't hesitate to contact our Bonita Springs, FL dentist office at (239) 301-2713 to schedule your next dental exam and teeth cleaning. Together we can meet your oral health goals and preserve your teeth for years to come.