Is It Bad If My Gums Bleed When I Floss?

The Short Answer from a periodontist
Is It Bad If My Gums Bleed When I Floss?

Q: If my gums bleed when I floss, is something wrong?

A: Multiple factors can cause bleeding gums. Gum (gingival) inflammation is the most common cause. The inflammation may be caused by bacterial plaque or tartar that is caught beneath the gum tissue.

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Bleeding may also be a sign of changes in your hormone levels, or of a systemic condition like diabetes that is not well-controlled or has not yet been diagnosed.

If you are new to flossing, expect some bleeding for the first few weeks. This should resolve the longer you continue to floss.

If you have been flossing for years and the bleeding is new, see your dentist or a periodontist (gum disease specialist) to evaluate your gums.

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Incorrect flossing technique may cause bleeding gums as well. Regardless, studies show that daily flossing reduces gum inflammation and creates gum health.

—Periodontist Sasha Ross, DMD

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