My Gums Bleed When I Brush & Floss! What Should I Do?

A toothbrush with blood over a bathroom sink with blood because of bleeding gums

A metallic taste in your mouth or a slight tint of red in the sink after brushing or on your floss string may cause alarm. Though bleeding gums may just be a sign of irritation from aggressively cleaning your teeth, it can also be an initial sign of gum disease. So what should you do when your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth?

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

While improper flossing with aggression can cause temporary trauma to the gums, that usually is not the cause for bleeding. Bleeding is often a sign that something else is going on, like periodontal disease. Gum disease is gum inflammation and infection due to the buildup of plaque and tartar. This can occur because of poor oral hygiene, a sugary diet, and tobacco use.

Gum Disease

Irritated and inflamed gums tend to bleed easier, especially when brushing and flossing. This indicates gingivitis, or early-stage gum disease. This can typically be reversed with improved oral hygiene and a better diet.

Periodontitis, which is advanced periodontal disease, cannot be reversed at home and will require special periodontal therapy at the dentist to help improve your gum health and preserve your teeth.

How to Stop Bleeding Gums

Gauze, an ice compress, over-the-counter pain medication, and warm salt water rinses are temporary solutions to irritated gums. But the best ways to improve your gum health include:

  • Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Replacing your toothbrush every three months
  • Gently flossing every day
  • Rinsing with an alchol-free antibacterial mouthwash
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Visiting our office for regular exams and cleanings

Periodontal Care in Indian Trail, NC

At Pleasant Plains Dental, we offer routine preventive dental care and specialty periodontal treatment to help you acheive a healthier smile. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment at our comfortable office.