Why Gums Bleed When Flossing

Bleeding gums is a fairly common experience when flossing. It is almost unavoidable for first-time flossers because their gums need to adjust to the new pressure. It is not a problem because the bleeding often stops immediately. However, bleeding gums when flossing could signify an impending oral disease.

Knowing this, you might need to see your dentist for a proper diagnosis. This article explores the causes of gum bleeding during flossing and what to do in this condition. Stay active to learn more!

Why do my Gums Bleed When I Floss?

Flossing is an integral part of oral hygiene. Together with brushing, it helps to remove plaque buildup in the mouth. But this process can lead to bleeding. Below are some possible reasons why your gums bleed when flossing;

  • Periodontal Disease 

Periodontal disease is a common reason why bleeding occurs when flossing. In this case, you should visit the doctor immediately. Periodontal disease can result in inflammation. Bacterial plaque or tartar seen beneath the gum tissue can cause inflammation. This disease can be reversed with treatment if diagnosed early.

  • Lack of Habitual Brushing and Flossing 

It is normal for a first-timer flosser to experience bleeding. Inconsistent flossing habits can cause a low gum adaptation to flossing pressure. It feels like the first time every time you resume flossing after taking a break. This leads to gum irritation and can cause bleeding. 

  • Certain Medical Conditions 

Some specific medical conditions can make the gums bleed when flossing or brushing. Vitamin C and K deficiencies are two common conditions that can cause this. The presence of adequate Vitamin C helps tissues grow and repair. And vitamin K is important in blood clotting. The absence of these vitamins can result in gum bleeding when flossing. Bleeding can also be a sign of systemic conditions. Ill-controlled or undiagnosed diabetes is a typical example.

  • Plaque 

The buildup of bacteria in the teeth and gums can lead to bleeding while flossing. Bacteria can build up around a poorly restored filling or crown. This results in gum irritation tissue. And it reflects as bleeding when you floss. 

  • Rough Flossing Techniques 

Bleeding can occur if you brush your teeth or floss the wrong way. If your brush bristles are too hard or the applied pressure is too much, your gums might start bleeding. While, rough flossing techniques may irritate the gum and cause bleeding. It is best to start gently and focus on working up and down the curve of each tooth. Read more about best ways to floss. 

What to Do if Gums Bleed When Flossing?

One of the best things you can do when your gums bleed when flossing is to continue the process. It might seem like that is doing more harm than good for the gums, but that is not true. The bleeding will go away if you floss enough. This is especially true for first-time flossers. More often than not, the bleeding stops within three to ten days. If that is not the case, there might be a systemic problem or physical damage to the gum tissue. I such cases, it would help if you also had your dentist look at that area.

To prevent bleeding gums while flossing, you should also learn how to floss. Proper flossing techniques will help stop gum bleeding. Water flossers are a beneficial alternative to traditional flossing. Water flossers help to clean the teeth and even massage the gums. Tuski water flossers are gentle on the gums. This flosser stimulates blood flow to the gums. It helps to reduce gum bleeding while flossing.


Gum bleeding while flossing is a fairly common occurrence. It can result from conditions like plaque buildup and rough flossing techniques. Other severe ailments like periodontal diseases might cause gum bleeding while flossing.

Gum bleeds often stop within seven to ten days. If it doesn’t, you should visit the doctor. Water flossers are a great alternative to flossing and reducing gum bleeding. This article is written solely for informative purposes. It should not replace your dentist’s instructions, diagnosis, or treatment options.