Logo Crystal Smiles
Okotoks Dentist - Crystal Smiles - flossing

Is it normal for my bleeding gum while flossing?

Is it normal for my gums to bleed while flossing?

There are a number of reasons that make your gums bleed while flossing.  We’re sure that everyone has experienced their gums bleeding at some point in their lifetime.  While some are more alarming than other, please know that none of these causes are natural.

Here are some reasons that may cause your gums to bleed, and a little information on how to care for each cause.

Haven’t flossed in a while

If you have gotten out of your flossing routine, and are just starting to floss again, you are more than likely going to bleed a bit.  If it doesn’t stop within a week of regular flossing, then you are most likely experiencing another cause.  Remember that bleeding is not normal, so contact your dentist if the problem persists.

Your toothbrush is too firm

Soft bristles are really all you need for brushing (medium at most).  If you get a firm toothbrush, it may irritate your gums.  If your gums are already irritated from flossing, this may cause bleeding.

Gingivitis & Gum Disease

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that precedes periodontitis (gum disease).  If you are experiencing gingivitis, it is important to take care of it before infection sets in.  You will recognize gingivitis by mild swelling in the gums.  If you care for your teeth regularly and stick to a good schedule of professional dental cleaning, gingivitis should clear up on it own.  If you reach gum disease stage, your dentist will have to help you clear it up, so please remember to take care of those gums.

For pregnant women, gingivitis is a particular concern.  Changing hormones can result in an increase in dental bacteria.  This can lead to gingivitis and gum disease.  If you are experiencing bleeding while brushing or flossing during pregnancy, please talk to your dentist.  Controlling gingivitis is important for your health and the health of your unborn child.

Medication that reduce clotting

Certain medication may make a person bleed more easily.  You should always keep your dentist up to date on any medications that you are taking.  Your dentist can help you to determine how to control bleeding while you floss.


Obviously, some of the causes of bleeding gums are more serious than others.  There’s no need to call your dentist if you just started flossing for the first time or if you didn’t floss for a few days.  However, if your gums are red and inflamed, it may be a sign of gum disease which will require the help of your dental professional.

Please contact the office if you are experiencing any concerns regarding your gums.  We are always here to help, even if you just need something simple like a flossing lesson. 587-757-9809.