Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?
If your gums bleed when you floss your teeth, you may think it’s a normal part of the process. However, this typically indicates an underlying oral health problem.
Read on to learn about some of the potential causes of bleeding gums.
Bleeding Gums Can Signify a Bigger Problem
Brushing your teeth too vigorously, oral injury, pregnancy, and inflammation can all result in bleeding gums. Redness, tenderness, and swelling are all early signs of periodontal disease, which includes gingivitis and periodontitis.
The only way you can treat this condition is by scheduling an appointment with your dentist. Until then, you can temporarily do the following to stop the bleeding.
Practice Routine Oral Hygiene
Gums typically become inflamed when there’s a plaque build-up along the gum line, resulting in bleeding. Plaque is a sticky film consisting of bacteria, and it coats your teeth and gums. If you neglect your oral health, it can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
To stay on top of your oral hygiene, we recommend you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. If you’re pregnant, you must keep track of your dental care because hormone fluctuations can trigger gum disease and bleeding gums.
Smoking is infamous for causing lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke, but did you know it can also lead to gum disease? Habitual smoking can lower your body’s immune system, making it difficult to fight off plaque.
When you stop smoking, your gums will be able to heal and stop bleeding. Even if you’re struggling to quit, reducing your cigarette usage will help. Talk to your doctor about the best method to help you quit smoking.
Decrease Your Stress Levels
There’s a link between periodontal disease and chronic stress. Anxiety can harm your immune system due to heightened cortisol levels, weakening your body’s defenses; this can make it nearly impossible to fight off a gum infection.
Additionally, anxiety can lead to depression, which can cause you to neglect your overall health. Try the following relaxation techniques:
- Squeezing a stress ball
- Talking to a loved one daily
- Spending more time with your pet
- Going on walks
Increase Your Vitamin C Intake
Neglecting your vitamin C intake can worsen your bleeding if you have gum disease. Even if you pride yourself in having great oral care, a vitamin C deficiency can still result in bleeding gums. Eat the following foods to increase your vitamin C levels:
- Sweet potatoes
- Red peppers
Don’t forget to drink plenty of orange juice!
Use a Cold Compress
Your gums might also be bleeding due to trauma or gum tissue injury. Applying a cold compress to your gum line can reduce swelling and obstruct blood flow, which will stop the bleeding. Use an ice pack or a damp cloth on your gums multiple times a day for 20 minutes.
Contact Dental Fundamentals School of Dental Assisting
Now that you know how to take care of bleeding gums, you may be wanting to learn more about oral health. If you’re looking for a career change, then dental assisting might be for you. At Dental Fundamentals School of Dental Assisting, our passion is our students. We offer a ten-week, hands-on program that provides students with the necessary training to become a dental assistant. Schedule a facility tour today.