If Your Gums Don't Stop Bleeding When You're Flossing, Do This

Having your gums bleed while you're brushing or flossing your teeth can be an eye-opener. Whether you don't typically floss or you always do, if you're currently flossing and it's not putting a stop to your gums bleeding, that's a sure sign of a problem. Here's why this might happen, and some ideas on what you should do.

What it Means

Flossing is the best way to improve gum health. It gets the plaque and bacteria that hide under the surface of the gums out, allowing the gums to heal and recover from the chronic inflammation that plaque causes.

In cases of mild gingivitis, flossing is usually all it takes to reverse the disorder. Since bleeding is one of the first signs of gingivitis, most people will experience relief after they start flossing at this stage. However, if flossing doesn't make a difference, that likely indicates that your gums are past the gingivitis stage and have entered periodontitis.

Getting Help

Unfortunately, periodontitis can't be treated at home. Once it reaches this point, it's up to a dentist to take care of it.

For this kind of dental care, it's best to make an appointment with periodontist. They have all the same training as a standard dentist, but they continue their training past that to focus on the gums. As a result, they're the best at improving gum health quickly and effectively.

What to Expect

For most people, a thorough exam and a set of x-rays will be in order. This will allow your dentist to determine if your teeth are still healthy underneath the gums, and to identify points of gum recession.

Once they have an idea of your health, they'll perform a dental scaling. This is now done with ultrasonic scalers. The ultrasonic waves can't be felt or heard, but they use a specific wavelength to break up hardened tartar above and below the gumline. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, this may be the end of the treatment or just the beginning.

Your dentist is there to help you, and that's what you need if you have periodontitis. This type of gum disease is something that will only get worse if you don't get help from a professional, so don't put off getting help. Make an appointment to have your teeth and gums thoroughly cleaned, and any other follow-up care you need to get your gums back in good health. Contact a provider of periodontal therapy services in order to learn more.