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Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss My Teeth?


Make Your Gums Stop Bleeding

It is not normal to see blood while brushing or flossing your teeth. A person with bleeding gums should take action as soon as possible.

Bleeding gums are most likely due to gingivitis or its cousin, periodontal disease. These are both unhealthy conditions of the gingiva or gum tissue.

I used a Hydro Floss Oral Irrigator daily to get my gums to stop bleeding.


Periodontal disease is more advanced than mere gingivitis. Both need attention to help prevent tooth loss and other potential health problems.


Gum disease usually begins with bacterial growth inside a biofilm called plaque.

The gums become irritated which causes them to bleed and separate from around the tooth, forming a pocket.

A person suffering from gum disease could lose the supporting structure around the tooth (including bone) and finally the tooth itself.

advanced periodontitis
Advanced Periodontitis

The situation doesn’t need to progress that far and there are things you can do to improve your dental health . You also should be working with a periodontist or dentist to review all of your options.

Many people might think that having a cavity would be the leading cause of tooth loss, but it is not. Actually, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss.

ulcerative gingivitis

Ulcerative Gingivitis

You may know some people who have lost many or even most of their teeth. To prevent experiencing a similar situation it is important for a person to pay close attention to the state of his gum health .


It is also dangerous in that once their is a breach in your gum tissue, where bleeding occurs, it is possible for bacteria to enter your blood stream and further infect the body.

A dentist or periodontist may offer you several options to improve the situation by arresting the progress of the gum disease and/or rebuild lost gum tissue.

Some options may include a deep under the gum cleaning and the insertion of a bone matrix to rebuild the supporting structure and allow for recovery of the lost gingiva.

If you don’t like your dentist’s advice, you have every right to seek a second or third opinion from another qualified dentist or periodontist (essentially a gum specialist).

I do have an opinion on this particular matter. I worry that many dental professionals have an interest in treating problems rather than preventing them.

I believe that many of them are more interested in making money by fixing a problem than by teaching us to prevent one.

dentistAs an example, here is a little article I wrote about my own experiences with dentists.

One told me that I had a cavity that she wanted to drill into and fill.

A little research on my part, revealed that I didn’t really have a cavity, after all.

When I went to a different dentist, six months later, there was no cavity to be found.

Dentistry has a term for this, it is called reversible pulpitis. In other words, you can have the ‘start’ of a cavity but your body can ‘heal’, the enamel can firm and may never develop into a full fledged cavity.

Here is a question for you, ‘has your dentist EVER mentioned the term ‘reversible pulpitis’ to you?’ Chances are, he or she NEVER has.


Why not? At the risk of sounding a bit on the cynical side, there is a definite financial benefit to the dentist for ‘drilling and filling’. Some of them will even go so far as to say they are practicing ‘preventive dentistry’.

Umm…. in plain terms, I was the victim of a predator. The predator was a money grabbing dentist. I don’t let her near my mouth now. I’m thankful that I had sense enough to do a little research.


I’m not saying all trouble spots are reversible pulpitis, some could be irreversible and already are or will develop into a cavity. So you do need your dentist, hopefully an honest one that will tell you the truth.

Anyway, back to the question of gum disease.

Here is a quote I obtained from the Mizar5 site (quote is from a dentist):

“In my opinion the whole thing boils down to one simple fact:

The dental establishment is scared to death that the public
is going to realize that the entire profession has been making
a living by repairing the results of a disease they could have
been curing all along!”

– Robert O. Nara, D.D.S.

That’s from a dentist. Sound extreme? It may be, but there is usually a grain of truth in statements like that. How much truth? Each must decide for himself.


To be safe, you do need to be making decisions about your oral health with a dentist. Hopefully, you’ll have a very honest one.

dentis4Here is what I do to keep my gums healthy. I’m not suggesting that you do what I do. I’m just telling you what is working for me. I had gingivitis too. My gums are much, much healthier than they used to be.

I use the hydrofloss . I have nothing against the Water Pik or any other oral irrigation devices. It is just that I have used the hydrofloss, it works and I’m going to keep on using it. I haven’t tried any other kind of oral irrigator. I’ll stick with what I know works.

I don’t use the hydrofloss with water only though. I add an oxygenated compound similar to the one you’ll find in the above link.

I use it daily. I shoot for a minimum of 2 uses per day. I’ve watched the health of my gums drastically improve from using it. Of course, I still brush and use regular floss too.


To give you a hint: before I started using it my hygienist and dentist recommended a ‘scaling and root planing’. They numb your gums with an anesthetic and then they scrape below your gum line to clean out any tarter / calculus buildup.

I didn’t like the sound of that. I decided to hold off and do a little research on my own. I’m glad I did. Read on.

After some research I bought the hydrofloss . I used it for several months and went back to my dentist. They said I no longer needed the root scaling and planing, my gums had improved and they said something about me being a compliant patient.

Healthy Gums

The funny thing is, I didn’t follow their advice at all. Yet I was a ‘compliant’ patient because my gums healed up. Kind of sounds like taking credit you don’t deserve to me.

Gum disease is serious . Do something about it so that you can keep your teeth for the long haul.


Colgate makes a toothpaste called Total. I don’t use it, but it is supposed to contain triclosan to help fight the bacteria that cause gingivitis. Here is a natural alternative [AFF] link. This alternative is not approved by the ADA and it does not contain fluoride, which may be useful to prevent cavities.

I personally don’t think that is enough. I believe I need a hydrofloss or something like it to clean around the ‘neck’ of the tooth. It needs to be done daily. Plaque can form in a short period of time, so daily hydroflossing can help prevent damage to my gum tissue.

dentist3Seek help and work with your dental professional on getting your gums back into shape. Bleeding gums indicates a problem that needs attention. Don’t let it go.

It is very important that you still go to your dentist for treatment, just pick a good one.

Comments have been made on this post. (scroll down to see them). You can also tell us about your own experiences with the dental profession here.

David writes for http://GingivitisKiller.com – learn more about what he did to stop the progression of gum disease and prevent its return.

Make Your Gums Stop Bleeding

This article speaks in general.  If you have a specific question about your dental health, you should ask your dentist or doctor for the answers.

About the author


unknown - January 14, 2007

when I wake up in the morning my teeth will already be bleeding. Its done got so bad that I don’t even kiss my husband, and I explained to him why I don’t. I brush my teeth everyday, and while brushing them they will bleed, so I at least have to brush them 3 times back to back, then I goggle my mouth with mouthwash, and it will stop the bleeding. but I need some advice, because I can’t afford to go to the dentist, so I need to know what can I do about this.

Dave - January 14, 2007


Thank you for writing in about your problem.

If your gums are already bleeding when you wake up, you better go see your doctor or dentist immediately. They can give you proper diagnosis and treatment.

I can’t give you advice, but your physician and / or dentist can.

I would also consider using the hydrofloss http://tobeinformed.com/hydro [AFF]

This is also something I have used in the past:

http://www.oramd.com/?kbid=1153 [AFF]

I’ve used both the hydrofloss and the above product and I liked the results with both.

Ultimately, I decided that the hydrofloss was the best and most effective way to control my gingivitis.

Please let me know what you think about that answer? Do you have anything else to add?

Whatever you end up doing, please come back and tell us, because I bet there are lot of people out there in a similar situation. That kind of information might be helpful to them.

Also, since you are experiencing so much bleeding, I want to remind you again to go see your dentist or doctor, they can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment.

– Dave

Dave - January 23, 2007

I just visited the dentist and hygienist and my gums show “continued improvement” and there was “no bleeding on probing”.

This shows that what I have been doing has been working for me.

Remember though, your dentist and hygienist are not the enemy. They are partners in the care of our gums and teeth.

It’s just that occasionally I have to take matters into my own hands – to umm… ‘complement’ their excellent care.

Actually, I’ve decided to get a regular cleaning done every three months to help care for my teeth and gums.

I love the hydrofloss [aff]. I will continue to use it.

This [aff] is what I use along with it.  I put two capfuls in one (hydrofoss) tray and use it on the bottom teeth’s gum tissue and then I use two capfuls in a second (hydrofloss) tray for the upper gums.

I’ll try to keep you posted on what happens next.

David - March 19, 2007


I opened the http://GingivitisKiller.com website to share with people EXACTLY what I did to stop the progression of gum disease and prevent it from coming back.

There is nothing like having healthy gums. And gum disease is not something everyone should suffer with.

I can’t guarantee what I did will work for you, but it certainly worked for me and you can learn what I did.


Worried. - April 17, 2007

My gingivitis lays mainly at the front set of my teeth, that area of gum is also much darker than the gum at the sides/back which is pink and looks healthy.

I’m just curious as to what changed in the appearance of your gums when they became healthier. Did the colour become lighter, pinker and healthier looking?

I hope that the dentists can stop my gingivitis, I’ve still yet to go to an appointment but as long as they can stop it going any further I’ll be happy. Each day I look at my gums I feel they are getting worse and worse, even though I brush my teeth everyday. I have actually never tried flossing, because it sounds scary – I can just imagine my gums bleeding from them. =( BUT I’m prepared to do anything to stop my gums from deteriorating and lead onto perodontitis.

Just please tell me there’s some hope for my gums to look normal again… even slightly normal! Not pocketed and dark like it is now. =(

What did your gums look like with gingivitis before?? And in what ways did they improve?? I just want some insight and hope.

Thank you!

Dave - April 17, 2007

Hi Worried,

I totally feel for you. I know how it feels to worry about the health of my teeth and gums. I would hate the idea of losing even one tooth to gum disease. And if several were in danger, I would worry that much more.

My goal is to keep all of my original teeth for a lifetime. (excluding my wisdom teeth which were pulled due to crowding in my mouth).

You can read about the tools that I personally used to help my gums become and stay healthier at


Be sure to sign up for my email list there too, so that you can get more good information about gum disease.


To answer your question, healthy gums should be a light pink.

They should not appear red or puffy at all.

And if they bleed and/or have puss, there is definitely a problem.

I think you will find that even your dentist will tell you that a lot depends on you and how you care for your gums and teeth at home.

The dentist can do some work for you but every person has to be very diligent about gum and tooth care at home.

I think that even your dentist or hygienist will tell you that if you try to rely solely on them to do the work at the office, you may continue to have problems.

Unless you can afford to have your teeth professionally cleaned once a week or so , you probably need to think about how you can best take care of your gums and teeth at home.

Dentists and hygienists can only do so much, the rest is up to you to do at home.

Of course, you should definitely get your dentist’s help they can diagnose and treat your condition. They can even prescribe medicines that can help.

Please let us know how things work for you. Don’t forget to visit http://GingivitisKiller.com to read more about gum disease.

– Dave

Martha Helao - March 4, 2011

This is a very good job.I really like it.Keep it up.

ashley - May 30, 2011

My doctor have recoomendeed me chlorhexidine gluconate0.12% oral rinse. usp to stop bleeding. What do you think?

    Dave - June 1, 2011

    This is just some general information, for specific questions ask your dentist.

    Chlorhexidine is for short term use only. It will stain your teeth if you use it for very long.

    Chlorhexidine can definitely kill bacteria but you will never get rid of all of them and they will grow back again.

    The focus should be on the daily disruption of plaque to expose the ‘bad’ bacteria to oxygen.

    Take a look at the Hydro Floss: It really helped me to get my gums healthy again.

    Gum disease is most likely the cause of your bleeding. You may also want to read the booK: What You Should Know About Gum Disease to learn more.

    Again, this was said in general terms, consult your doctor for specific questions about your dental health.

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