If Flossing Hurts, You Need to Come In and See Us

Posted on 2/28/2019 by Brian Rounds, DDS
If Flossing Hurts, You Need to Come In and See UsIt's understandable to become a little bit alarmed and nervous when you see blood in your mouth after brushing and flossing.

The problem arises when our patients see blood when they spit after brushing or flossing and take it as a hint that they need to brush or floss less. The opposite is the truth, however. If you have pain when you floss, it's all the more important to stay on top of your brushing and flossing.

What Does It Mean When It Hurts When I Floss?

A healthy mouth is not supposed to hurt or bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. If you notice bleeding when you floss, then that could be an early sign of gum disease, also known as "gingivitis".

Early signs of gum disease include:

•  Swollen and red gums
•  Tenderness along your gumline
•  Receding gums
•  Bad breath
•  Blood in your spit after you brush or floss

The interesting thing about gum disease is that it's not always painful, so using pain as a gauge that you need an appointment with us will cause needless delays in getting treatment.
Preventing gum disease is fairly straightforward. Taking care to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, for two minutes each time you brush, can help significantly.

You also need to floss at least once a day, with an 18-inch length of floss, using a clean piece of floss on each tooth and making sure you work the floss up under your gums. Antibacterial mouthwash can also be beneficial, but it is no replacement for good oral hygiene.

If your gums are bleeding when you floss, then there's a good chance you have gum disease. We advise that our patients come in for a dental exam every six months for a routine checkup and thorough cleaning.

If it's been longer than six months since your last appointment, and you're noticing blood when you floss, please give us a call right away to help determine why they're bleeding and get you started on treatment for your possible dental infection.
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