Hi, it’s Dr Ghobrial here from Sure Dental in Brisbane.
Yesterday during our comprehensive examination with one of our new patients, Ruby from Wooloowin, I asked her about flossing, and she said to me, “I don’t floss my teeth because every time I floss my gums bleed.” And she asked me, “Why do my gums bleed? Is that normal?”
And so I thought I’d record this video to answer this important question around why gums bleed and is it the floss that’s causing your gums to bleed?
The first thing to understand is that gums bleeding is a sign of a disease or unhealthy gums. It is a result of our body’s reaction to the plaque or the tartar buildup that’s around the teeth and sometimes below the gum level, which is irritating those gums and causing that bleeding.
Now, that bleeding is a result of our immune response. Our body tries to fight the bacteria, but in doing so, it goes in an over-response and rather than damaging the bacteria, often it can actually damage our own tissue. And so for some patients, gums bleeding is a reaction to the plaque and the tartar buildup, but it can be quite limited. So it can be a lot of bleeding, but we’re not losing a lot of tissue and bone and gums and things like that.
However, for some patients who are genetically susceptible like me, when gums are bleeding, it actually shows a deeper issue that’s going on around periodontal disease. And when that happens we have our jaw bone actually disappearing due to the body’s immune response. And so oftentimes what we find is if there’s a site that doesn’t bleed, it’s unlikely for that bone to be disappearing. Whereas, when we do have bleeding that often relates to areas where we’re losing tooth structure. And for some patients that means deep pocketing between their tooth and their gums and other patients means gum recession, where the gum disappears and you get root surface exposed. And in quite extreme cases that can cost people their teeth.
So flossing is not actually the cause of the gums bleeding, actually, flossing is one of the big things that helps reestablish health. So patients often say, “I stopped flossing because my gums are bleeding.” And I say, “Well, no, keep flossing, so your gums stop bleeding.” Now of course, all the tartar build up in the difficult to reach areas needs to be cleaned professionally first so that you can keep them clean. But flossing daily is a really important part of keeping gums nice and healthy and stopping that bleeding.
The other thing is actually when we’re brushing, being conscious to be up at 45 degrees towards the gums there and gently brushing the plaque away. Gum bleeding can mean a sign of gum disease, but we also know that unhealthy gums can have other systemic issues. We know there are links around diabetes and heart issues, and even in pregnancy for the development of babies and premature births and things like that. So we want to have really healthy gums.
So if you’ve got any issues around bleeding gums, and want a professional opinion of them, we would love to look after you. Why don’t you message us directly on our social media or go to our website suredental.com.au, or give us a call on 07 3256 9111 and you can come meet with one of our amazing Hygienists who can look at getting your gums nice and healthy.
Note: All content and media on the Sure Dental website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.
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