Think You Hate Flossing? Try This First

Posted on: 1 March 2019

Flossing is something that many people have difficulty committing to. However, even if the dedication to flossing is there, if it hurts or causes bleeding of the gums, chances are you won't want to go through with it on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it's a misconception that flossing causes these kinds of problems for people. Here's what you need to know about this symptom and what you can do to ensure it doesn't happen anymore when you floss.

Discomfort and Bleeding

There are two main causes of the problems of pain and bleeding from the gums when you floss: a buildup of tartar and gum disease.

Tartar is the hardened form of plaque that can't be removed at home no matter what you do. It has to be shaken loose with ultrasonic tools at a dentist's office, or manually scraped away by a hygienist.

When you have tartar between your teeth, it becomes harder to squeeze the floss between your teeth. This can cause you pain because it puts pressure on both teeth as the floss tries to squeeze in there.

When it comes to bleeding, chances are you already have gingivitis, or worse yet, periodontitis. While the bleeding of gingivitis is typically temporary and goes away if you keep flossing, periodontitis requires help from a dentist's office.

Cleaning First

To prevent or solve both of these problems, there's one incredibly easy thing you should do: get a dental cleaning.

Getting a professional cleaning will blast away any tartar that makes it hard for the floss to glide. It will also remove plaque and tartar that can harbor nasty bacteria from your gums, which will begin the healing process whether you have gingivitis or periodontitis. Of course, any other dental issues that have cropped up since your last cleaning can also be treated at the same time.


Once your dental cleaning is complete, you can go back to flossing right away. You should find it to be remarkably easy. Floss glides across clean, smooth teeth, and you'll be able to tell that your teeth are genuinely clean after flossing.

If you had periodontitis treated, you should notice far less bleeding of the gums too. However, you should be gentle with yourself and follow your dentist's advice. If your gums were in very bad shape, you may want to focus on allowing them to heal rather than flossing at first. Make sure to ask if you're diagnosed with periodontitis.

These conditions can be greatly improved with the help of a dentist, so don't give up on flossing just yet. Once your teeth are clean, you can return to the habit of flossing, and you'll find that it makes your next dental appointment even easier and more pleasant.

Reach out to a practice like Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to learn more.