How Do I Prevent Bleeding Gums When I Floss?

We’ve all experienced the annoyance during our nightly routine: makeup has come off, contacts removed, face is washed, teeth are brushed and flossed. You spit the toothpaste into the sink and what do you see? Pink.

Bleeding gums may be common, but they don’t have to be a fact of  life. So how do you keep your gums healthy and strong? And when should you worry that bleeding gums are a sign of something more serious?

Why Your Gums May Be Sensitive

There are plenty of causes of bleeding gums that aren’t cause for concern, just a simple habit change should solve the problem. Here are a few easy-to-solve reasons why your gums might be more tender than normal:

  • Not brushing twice each day/not flossing once each day. By brushing twice each day and flossing once a day, you’re “training” your gums to be stronger, and you’re cleaning out plaque buildup of the day. However, not making time for daily brushing and flossing allows more plaque and bacteria to stick on your teeth and gums, making your gums sensitive.
  • Brushing too hard. It’s a common bad habit, and an understandable one. The harder you brush, the more clean your teeth will get, right? Wrong. You’re brushing your teeth, not scrubbing a floor. Brush gently in a circular motion, and try not to press hard. For rough brushers, an electric toothbrush can be a great investment and is typically more gentle on the teeth.
  • Flossing too hard. Just like brushing, you can floss too roughly. Make sure you’re “hugging” each tooth with the floss, not pressing down or causing trauma to the gums themselves.
  • Certain medication. Unfortunately, some medications, like aspirin, ibuprofen and blood thinners, can just make you bleed easier. That may be the case here.
  • Eating a diet high in sugar. If your diet is rife with sugary foods, you’re at an increased risk of gingivitis and gum diseases. We all love indulgences here and there, but cut out sugar where you can.

Ways to Stop the Pink in the Sink

Now, how do you stop your gums from bleeding? As long as the issue isn’t a symptom of something more sinister, here are a few ways to keep your gums healthy and lessen the occurrence of pink in the sink.

  • Floss daily, brush twice a day. Good home oral care includes these two staples. If you’re not a frequent flosser, your gums may bleed more at first. Once they’re accustomed to the daily cleaning, however, that will go away.
  • Change the toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush once every three or four months. An old toothbrush with worn-out bristles may be causing you to brush harder than you need to, and may be hitting your gums and teeth in ways that damage your gums.
  • Brush more gently. Trust us: your teeth don’t need to be power washed. A gentle circular motion is more than enough to clean the teeth, topped off by flossing between the teeth to get those stuck food particles.
  • Visit your dentist. Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi and the staff here at Oasis Dental Arts is always happy to see you back in the office. Make sure you’re coming in for a regular check-up every six months general-dentistry to ensure your oral health is in great shape. At your check-up, we’ll provide the deep dental clean you can’t get at home dental-cleanings.

Signs It’s Something More

Though bleeding gums are typically not a cause for concern, they can be a sign of something more serious.

If your gums are bleeding regularly, look red and swollen, are painful or sensitive to touch, or are receding back from your teeth, it may be time to see your dentist. Dr. Goshtasbi is dedicated to preventive dentistry, so there’s no time better than the present to ensure your oral health is flawless.

We’ll Take a Closer Look

If you’re concerned about early signs of gum disease, bleeding gums or would like a second opinion, Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts in Scripps Ranch can offer his expertise.

To book an appointment with Dr. Goshtasbi to talk about your oral health or for a routine tooth and gum check-up, call (858) 271-1010 today.