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A 22-year-old female asked:

I just started flossing my teeth. my gums now hurt and areas are a little swollen and red.

3 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
Proper Technique: If you are snapping the floss downward between your teeth, you may be irritating the gum tissue or even pushing debris and bacteria into the sulcus. A gentle sawing motion to pass the floss through the contact, then pull the floss outward. When was your last professional cleaning? If more than six months ago, its time to call for an appointment.
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 36 years experience
Gingivitis: Bleeding gums while flossing can be a sign that you already have gum disease. The bacteria and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless toxic “plaque” on teeth causing the gums to become inflamed and to easily bleed. This is a serious problem, which should be checked professionally by a dentist. The good news is that this condition is curable. Call your dentist today!
Dr. Robert Devin
Dentistry 47 years experience
Flossing Pain: Flossing is NOT an inherent skill. You will cut your gums. .You will cut the papillae... you will saw into your gums. It hurts ..makes your teeth sensitive to hot and cold. BUT, you will prevail. Ask your hygienist for help and tips. You'll get it and be happy about it. Best BD

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Last updated May 21, 2016

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