Stanford Dental
Providing you with an exceptional experience at every visit.

Why do my gums bleed when I floss?

Healthy gums do not bleed when you brush and floss, but did you know that roughly 80% of Americans have gingivitis. The early sign of gingivitis is your teeth bleeding when you floss or brush. Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible! The not so good news is that once gingivitis turns into periodontal disease, it is no longer reversible. This is why we educate our patients every time they come into our office, especially if we see bleeding during our cleanings. 

 

Here is an example we use with most of our patients. Put your two thumbs together and make a goal post with your thumbs and index fingers. That is the size of your mouth. If you had a wound on your leg the size of that bleeding, you would go to a doctor as quickly as possible to get it checked out. We know that bleeding that like would not be normal. The same principle applies to your mouth. Just because most Americans bleed when they floss, does not make it normal and it can cause serious implications. The number one reason Americans loose their teeth is due to periodontal disease and we want you to keep your teeth for your whole lifetime. Not to mention, that the bleeding is also a sign of bacteria that is flowing through your bloodstream from your mouth. This bacteria can lead to diabetes, stroke, and heart attack. So, if you bleed when you floss, please let us us know at your next appointment and we can help walk you through the steps to help you be able to keep your teeth for your lifetime.
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