Why do your gums bleed if you haven’t flossed in a while?

Why do your gums bleed if you haven't flossed in a while?

Why do my gums bleed if I haven’t flossed?

We’ve all been guilty of skipping flossing at some point, but there is a scientific reason why you should floss your teeth every 24 hours. Flossing every day disrupts the plaque and bacteria that start to settle in the tiny spaces between your teeth before they have a chance to stick and cause problems. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms and needs to be physically removed with floss. Trying to chemically remove it with a product like mouthwash isn’t as effective. Because plaque contains bacteria that your body finds toxic, it will irritate your gums if it’s not removed regularly. The longer the plaque sits between your teeth, the more irritated it can make your gums. As a response to the irritation, your body creates inflammation in the area in an attempt to defend itself against foreign invaders and repair damaged tissue. You may have heard this referred to as gingivitis. Inflamed gums are prone to bleeding because your body swells the area with extra blood flow containing antibodies and nutrients to protect you from worsening gum disease. In short, this why you bleed after not flossing for some time!

If you go an extended period of time without flossing and plaque sits between your teeth for a long time, it begins to harden and turn to tartar. Once tartar is formed you aren’t able to brush or floss it off yourself; you need the special tools that our hygiene team has. The good news is most of the time gingivitis is reversible with really good home care and keeping up with your dental wellness visits! For those who really hate flossing soft picks and proxy brushes are a great alternative.


This post should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately licensed health care provider. Information provided here is for informational purposes only. Although we attempt to provide accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee is made to that effect. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. This site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis or treatment.

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