Bleeding While Flossing: A Sign of Gum Disease?

Aug 15, 2023
Bleeding While Flossing: A Sign of Gum Disease?
Your gums are the vital tissue in your mouth that house your teeth and attach to your jaw, helping to keep everything stable for chewing and digestion. If you deal with bleeding while caring for your gums, does it indicate disease?

When we think about oral health, caring for our teeth is paramount because despite having enamel (one of the hardest substances in our bodies) to cover them, they are prone to bacteria and particles that can erode them over time. Many things can affect our risks, such as dental caries; problems that affect our teeth can also damage our gums

Both teeth and gums are at risk for problems, but gum problems can create issues throughout your mouth and body. Bleeding gums when flossing teeth can indicate different health problems, including gum disease. Let’s find out more about what this issue can mean to your health by examining the importance of your gums, the conditions that can cause them to bleed, and how they can get treated.

Dr. Ayed Hawatmeh and his skilled medical staff at Bravo Dental Group are here to help if you live in the Brea, Banning, Corona, or Hemet, California area and are dealing with bleeding gums or other dental problems.

The importance of the health of your gums

Your teeth are connected to your jaws and have roots that affix them to periodontal ligaments (soft connective tissue) lining your tooth socket. Your gums are composed of several layers, including:

  • Maxillary labial frenum: the thin tissue that runs between your upper gum and upper lip
  • Alveolar mucosa: the red, mucous membrane that spans the floor of your mouth, cheek, and lips
  • Marginal gingiva: a strip of tissue that surrounds the bottom of your teeth
  • Attached gingiva: a second layer under the marginal gingiva
  • Interdental gingiva (papilla): the term for gum tissue between teeth
  • Mandible buccal frenum: the thin tissue that runs between your lower gum and lower lip

Your mouth is abundant in bacteria; brushing and flossing can help keep the good bacteria from outweighing the bad. However, the bad bacteria can lead to infections that increase the risks of various illnesses, including endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and complications with pregnancy or giving birth.

Conditions that cause bleeding gums

The problems that can cause bleeding gums include different categories, such as:

Dental causes

Dental conditions are the most common causes of bleeding gums, and bad oral hygiene can lead to problems with gingivitis (an early stage or gum disease), periodontitis (gum disease), and trench mouth (severe gum disease). Smoking can also affect your dental health and lead to bleeding gums.


Vitamin C and K deficiencies can cause gums to bleed easily, which indicates a lack of foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, bell peppers, potatoes, spinach, kale, lettuce, and mustard greens.

Other diseases

Illnesses that affect blood thinning can lead to bleeding gums, such as hemophilia, pernicious anemia, and thrombocytopenia, as well as blood thinning medications. Oral herpes, diabetes, leukemia, HIV/AIDS, and even stress can lead to bleeding gums.

Methods of treatment

Improving your dental hygiene is the best way to reduce bleeding gums, and we can help you with proper brushing and flossing habits to accomplish that. Antiseptic mouthwash can help to reduce plaque buildup that can lead to dental problems, and a saltwater rinse can reduce swelling in gums with bleeding issues. The type of toothbrush you use can also make a difference, as using a softer toothbrush can help prevent inflamed gums from worsening.

Other problems that can lead to bleeding gums need to have the underlying diseases and conditions addressed, but these tips can help make a difference in the health of your gums. Make an appointment today with Dr. Hawatmeh and Bravo Dental Group if you need help managing bleeding gums or other dental issues.