Does Flossing Have You Seeing Red? Here Are Some Things To Try

Posted on: 17 December 2018

When you spit into the sink after flossing your teeth, the last thing that you probably want to see is blood. Few people like seeing their own blood, and it's easy to start to worry about your dental health if you're frequently bleeding after you've flossed. You don't have to hit the panic button just yet. Instead, there are a number of simple things that you can try, and then assess the difference that they make during future flossing sessions. Here are some suggestions to pursue.

Keep At It

One of the simplest things that you can do when you see blood after a flossing session is continue to floss your teeth as you've been doing. Such an idea might seem illogical, as you might worry that it will only lead to more bleeding. The truth of the matter is that by continuing to floss, you're making your teeth and gums healthier.

A common reason for your gums to bleed during flossing is that there's a lot of plaque around them. The tartar already has the gums inflamed, and the presence of irritation in the form of the dental floss will draw blood. When you continue to floss, you'll be removing this plaque, thus reducing your gum inflammation. In the days or weeks ahead, you might notice that your gums no longer bleed when you floss — a sure sign of progress.

Reduce The Pressure

While bleeding gums during flossing are frequently the result of gum inflammation, it's also possible that your gums are healthy — but that you're irritating them with your aggressive flossing techniques. If your dentist or dental hygienist indicated at your most recent dental appointment that your gums are in good shape, it's possible that you're flossing too hard. While going right up to the gumline is important when you floss, bleeding is likely if you're putting too much pressure on the gums. Try to reduce your pressure and see if that quells the bleeding.

Consult Your Dentist

If you aren't able to get the post-flossing bleeding under control, either by continuing to remove the plaque to make your gums healthier or by changing your flossing technique, you'll want to see your dentist. Don't wait to raise the issue at your next scheduled appointment. Instead, call the clinic to explain the problem. Your dentist may ask you to visit in the coming days or weeks in order to assess the reason for the bleeding and determine what, if any, dental services can be performed to remedy the problem.