False. If you have gums that are bleeding, it may seem logical to baby them or leave them alone until they heal. But when it comes to your gums, the opposite is true. When your gums bleed, it’s a sign that plaque and/or food particles are accumulating along your gum line and the gums have become irritated and inflamed. You need to brush and floss to remove all of this build up to make the bleeding stop; failing to remove it will only worsen the inflammation and bleeding. It is true that your gums might also bleed if you’re flossing harshly or for the first time in a while and your gums aren’t used to it. The key is to floss and brush regularly and gently. When you floss, don’t jam the floss between the teeth – instead, gently slide the floss back and forth, until it slips between your teeth. Next, you want to wrap the floss around the back tooth and slide it up and down; then do the same for the front tooth. Likewise, when brushing don’t scrub away at your teeth; we recommend holding your toothbrush so that the bristles are at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, with the bristles pointing toward your gums, and use a gentle swishing motion covering the entire tooth surface. A manual toothbrush will do the job, but an electric toothbrush will do it much more efficiently. It may take some time (typically 7-14 days of proper home care), but eventually the bleeding and soreness will go away. Certain medications, blood conditions and even how you breathe can make you more prone to bleeding gums. But the important fact to remember is, no level of bleeding should be considered normal. If you’re experiencing any bleeding from your gums, you want to see your dentist to identify what is causing it in your case and work together to remedy it.


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Red Mill Commons
1169 Nimmo Parkway, Suite 242
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by Dr. Meredith Hoek
Hoek Family Dentistry

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