A Root Canal

Four Options If Flossing Makes Your Gums Bleed

Every time you go to your dentist for a cleaning, you probably hear that you need to floss. And if you have problems with flossing (for example, if flossing once makes your gums bleed and leaves them sore all day), they'll probably tell you that you need to floss more, which sounds a bit counterintuitive. Here are four options to discuss with your dentist if flossing makes your gums bleed.

1. Keep at it

This is what your dentist will likely suggest first. That's because some people's gums react slightly to flossing at first, but then eventually get used to it over time. This is supposed to happen over the first couple of weeks or so. If you've flossed religiously every day for a month and your gums still hurt and bleed just as much as they did before, talk to your dentist about another option.

2. Try a gentler floss

Many dental flosses are designed with flavor and effectiveness in mind. Looking for one designed with softness and gentleness in mind can help your gums immensely. Try out a couple of different flosses designed to be gentle and see if you can find one that's gentle enough on your teeth and gums.

3. Substitute a water flosser

A water flosser isn't actually a direct substitute for dental floss. That's because the water flosser is designed to clean below your gumline, but it doesn't do as much for cleaning the sides of your teeth and the tight gaps where the water spray won't reach. However, your dentist may let you switch out by using your water flosser one day and dental floss the next. This can give your gums time to recover between flossings.

4. Try gum health supplements

If you're still having problems, talk to your dentist about the possibility of dietary supplements for gum health. For example, hydrolyzed collagen is a dietary supplement that some believe can help your gum tissue stay healthy, and CoQ10 is a substance that may support gum health if you're on blood thinners such as Warfarin. Be sure to get a medical opinion on these and any other dietary supplements you're considering before you actually try them out, and check with your doctor to make sure they won't interact with any other medications or supplements you're taking.

These four options can help you make changes to your dental health routine to reduce gum pain and bleeding while still keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Now if you're experiencing negative effects from flossing, you have other options than just quitting. For more information, contact a company like Cherry Hill Dentistry LLC.