If My Gums Bleed, Should I Stop Flossing?

clean your gums

This is a key question occasionally asked by patients at Expressions Dental Care. The answer, however, is “No!” Bleeding is probably a sign that you need to clean your gums more thoroughly—not leave them alone. It is practically impossible to clean effectively between teeth without using floss or an interdental brush.

If you have never flossed before, your gums might bleed the first few times you use floss. The bleeding may be due to detrimental gum inflammation, the beginnings of gum disease. Keep flossing gently and the bleeding generally stops within a week or two.

Gingivitis and the more advanced periodontal disease is extremely common in Virginia and around the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of American adults aged 30 and over have periodontal disease.

If you don’t make flossing a habit, and your gums become sore, swollen, and tender, it could cause gum disease. The good news is that, unlike dental cavities, gum disease can be reversed with improved oral hygiene.

What if you continue to clean your gums for a few weeks and still notice bleeding? Call Expressions Dental Care at 703-757-6453 to schedule a consultation. John Han, DMD, will complete a thorough examination to determine the cause of the bleeding. At Expressions Dental Care, our goal is to help patients preserve healthy teeth and gums. Our dental hygienists not only complete the most thorough dental cleanings, they also educate patients on proper brushing and flossing. If you have a child who needs extra help learning how to brush and floss correctly, schedule an appointment with our Expressions Dental Care child-friendly team. We offer state-of-the-art cosmetic dental services including teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, dental crowns, and tooth-colored filling replacement.

Contact Expressions Dental Care:

703-757-6453

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

11515 Sunrise Valley Dr
Reston, Virginia
20191