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View Full Version : Is Blood Pouring Out Of Your Gums When You Floss A Bad Sign?


Surreal
05-06-2003, 10:50 AM
I've noticed that every time I floss, I get a lot of bleeding coming from my gums. Are they *supposed* to bleed like this?

It makes me wonder if I have gingivitis or something, but when I brush my teeth I include the gum line and there's never any bleeding, and my gums don't bleed under any other circumstances.

Is this normal?

Thanks.

Phlosphr
05-06-2003, 11:00 AM
Same thing happens to me. I was told by my dentist, that gums are very vascular, and this is nothing to worry about. Unless!! Your gums are RED, this can indicate start of something. If you brush regularly, you should not have a problem...Red Bad, pink good...

Crafter_Man
05-06-2003, 11:00 AM
Are you “new” to flossing? Or has this been occurring for months or years?

WILLASS
05-06-2003, 11:02 AM
I get that - my gums hurt a bit when I floss and bleed a little, but my mouth is otherwise very healthy.......maybe its bad technique.

pravnik
05-06-2003, 11:04 AM
It could be a bad sign. Bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis or periodontal disease. See a dentist.

metroshane
05-06-2003, 12:33 PM
It could be many things. The 3 most obvious are...

1. You don't floss much and your gums aren't used to it yet. Not a problem. You may also be flossing too hard.

2. Calculus is built up under the gumline and because it's sharp (like barnicles) you're rubbing your gums against it making it bleed. Get a deep scaling from your dentist. Medium priority.

3. You've got some level of gum disease...see a dentist as it's reversible. Medium to high priority.

bradwalt
05-06-2003, 01:05 PM
Asking the Straight Dope instead of a dentist is a bad sign!

NurseCarmen
05-06-2003, 01:29 PM
Oh man, Our company just enrolled in the "Britain in the 1800's" dental plan. Are you on the same deal?

rowrrbazzle
05-06-2003, 04:58 PM
A "lot" of bleeding every time doesn't sound good to me. Definitely check it out with your dentist. As others have said, it could be a sign of gum disease. Maybe floss a little bit while you're in the dentist's chair so he/she can see your technique. If your dentist doesn't find anything wrong, it might even be a good idea to see a different dentist to get a second opinion.

Occasionally I get some slight pain when flossing. It's extremely rare for me to get even a slight amount of blood.

For reference, I just saw my dentist and both he and the hygienist said my gums are in "excellent condition", a lifetime first for me! The hygienist switched me to the Oral-B cross-action toothbrush 6 months ago and she needed to do very little manual scaling this time, much less than before.

barbitu8
05-06-2003, 05:04 PM
Your gums should not bleed with brushing or flossing. If they do consistently, this is a good (bad?) sign that you have gum disease (gingivitis). If there is one area which consistently bleeds when you floss, this means that you have been missing that area when you ususally floss.

An occasional bleeding from one area indicates that there is some calculus being built up in that area, due to improper dental care (lack of flossing). That can be corrected by flossing that area diligently.

No matter how hard you brush your teeth and gums, if in condition, they will not bleed. BTW, you should not use a hard toothbrush as in time this will erode your gums -- but they won't bleed in the process. Use the softest possible brush.

xash
05-06-2003, 07:02 PM
I have had the same problem as you. Although I didn't have any dental condition or disease, my gums would bleed when I flossed, but otherwise seemed healthy.

I ignored it for a while, but the last time I went to my dentist I asked what could be the reason. I was told that it was because my gums weren't used to flossing, since I had just begun flossing a while before that and also that they weren't perfectly healthy. I was given a dental clean-up and asked to floss nightly. For a few weeks after the dental clean up, my gums didn't bleed while flossing. It was only when I started getting lazy about it and skipped a few nights (and then some) of flossing that it started bleeding again. Regular flossing after that reduced the amount of bleeding, till eventually it disappeared.

IANAD, but I strongly recommend a simple dental clean-up and nightly flossing thereafter.

No, teeth or gums are not supposed to bleed when brushing or flossing.

DreadLead
05-06-2003, 10:42 PM
I like rota-points...these triangular shaped picks you can get at the dentist. The flat part goes down, against the gum..it won't chew it up.
While I do agree your gums shouldn't bleed, I wouldn't worry about alittle blood, especially if you haven't flossed in awhile. If the gum is inflamed, and bleeds a bit...that's a location you want to concentrate on.
I think a trip to the dentist and getting some info from him would be more helpful

DreadLead
05-06-2003, 10:45 PM
I like rota-points...these triangular shaped picks you can get at the dentist. The flat part goes down, against the gum..it won't chew it up.
While I do agree your gums shouldn't bleed, I wouldn't worry about alittle blood, especially if you haven't flossed in awhile. If the gum is inflamed, and bleeds a bit...that's a location you want to concentrate on. Blood when brushing isn't good...your gum is unhealthy, or your tearing it up somehow
I think a trip to the dentist and getting some info from him(after he inspects your condition) would be more helpful

Silentgoldfish
05-06-2003, 10:48 PM
My gum's bleed everytime I floss. So I don't.

It doesn't stop any dentist I go to from telling me that I have as close to perfect teeth as it's possible to have (a combination of genetics and flouride).

plnnr
05-07-2003, 08:11 AM
Deep scaling....OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH. Man, that was worse than a root canal. I'm really fastidious about brushing and flossing now.

AV8R
05-07-2003, 10:07 AM
If you're on any medication that makes your blood thinner, that would also increase the bleeding, because it doesn't clot as fast.

barbitu8
05-07-2003, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by Silentgoldfish
My gum's bleed everytime I floss. So I don't.

It doesn't stop any dentist I go to from telling me that I have as close to perfect teeth as it's possible to have (a combination of genetics and flouride). Yes, but what about your gums? So, if I were you, I wouldn't be complacent about your genetics or be overwhelmed with fluoride. Your gums can get so decayed by bacteria that they can fail to support your teeth. You can then put your teeth in a museum, along with the fluoride.

peri
05-07-2003, 12:59 PM
A high percentage of our perio patients have beautiful, fluoride strenthened teeth with no fillings. When they ignore the bleeding and receding gums and bone loss we give them beautiful denture teeth.

MysteryFellow63427
05-08-2003, 01:53 PM
peri, that's almost enough to make me cry. I just got back from the dentist, and despite good brushing and flossing habits found out I have early/mid stage gum disease (I'm only 23.) :(

Surreal, your problem sounds serious. Please go see a dentist immediately!

peri
05-08-2003, 11:53 PM
neuroman, early onset perio disease is a real bitch. Early stage (gingivitis) is totally reversible. Mid stage can be stabilized. Not sure where you are with that mid stage designation, I'm used to stage II, stage III, etc. to signify disease state. Follow your dentist's recommendations regarding treatment, especially frequency of cleanings and/or scalings, and you can keep this under control.

What made me cry was helping a 39 y.o. woman pick teeth for her full dentures.

MysteryFellow63427
05-09-2003, 11:14 AM
periI had five or so 5mm pockets, and one or two 6mm pockets, with some bone loss around the teeth, so I think that's stage II. In your experience, is stage II ever "reversed" (reduction of pocket size and/or bone restoration), or is the best outcome usually stabilization? I am going to follow my dentist's recommendations, and may consult a periodontist soon - I want to keep my teeth.

metroshane
05-09-2003, 11:40 AM
neuroman,

4 and 5 mm pockets are bad, but treatable. My wife, the hygienist routinely sees people with up to 14mm pockets. That's bad!

See a dentist.

barbitu8
05-09-2003, 03:10 PM
IANAD(entist), but IMHO if you have 4 or 5 mm. pockets, the best course of action is to have a periodontist perform a gingivectomy. I'm surprised your dentist has not recommended one. If you are young and now follow good dental hygiene, the gum tissue may grow back - may. Not likely. It's definitely treatable, but treatable by the gingivectomy, which is usually done in quarters at a time. Once that is done, good hygiene will prevent a repeat.

metroshane
05-09-2003, 03:18 PM
"IANAD(entist), but IMHO if you have 4 or 5 mm. pockets, the best course of action is to have a periodontist perform a gingivectomy."

Are you kidding? I'm glad you said IANAD.....because that's way extreme. My wife is a hyngeinist, her dad and sister are dentists. When I first met my wife I had a few 4 mm pockets and within 6 months of semi-routine flossing.....they're all down to 2 or less....most are barely 1's. Anything over 6 definitely needs to be addressed because you're well on your way to advanced perio disease.

4-6mm pockets need to be addressed for sure, but nothing to panic about.

Mithril
05-09-2003, 05:18 PM
Originally posted by metroshane
"4-6mm pockets need to be addressed for sure, but nothing to panic about.

I agree. Last May, I had many 4 and 5 mm pockets, with nothing worse. They gave me a thorough gum cleaning, and I had to have another in 3 months. I began flossing at least 5 times per week. My teeth were just cleaned two days ago, and the hygeinist raved about my oral hygeine.

Long story short, 4 and 5 mm pockets are fully reversable.

Daoloth
05-09-2003, 05:19 PM
I used to brush daily, but never mouthwashed or flossed. On the rare occasion that I did floss, it bled madly.

I learned my lesson. Upon a visit to the dentist, they noticed that despite the good quality of my teeth, my gums were in the early signs of gingivitis. So, they did some sort of operation involving a device that ejected high pressure streams of liquid, and did this in and around my gums. The sensation was utterly weird, and although not painful per se, I would not like tolerating it again.

metroshane
05-09-2003, 05:34 PM
Unless they did something special...the water devise is called a cavitron, a less invasive cleaning tool.

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