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You probably know how important it is to remove plaque and you’ve probably heard that you should brush and floss every day—but do you know why?

Sadly, plaque can lead to a variety of problems. Not removing plaque well enough could lead to gum disease, irritated gums, sensitive teeth, and damage to the jawbone. Unfortunately, the issues don’t stop in your mouth.

Plaque buildup can lead to overall health problems, including heart disease, respiratory issues, diabetes, cancer, erectile dysfunction, and dementia. To avoid these problems, it’s extremely important to remove plaque from your smile. This means you’ll have to floss thoroughly every day.

Still, what do you do if your gums bleed when you’re flossing? Fortunately, you may not have to do anything, but there may be times that you do have to take action. For example, your gums could be bleeding if you are already dealing with gum disease. Luckily, your dentist can help you address the issue. Often all you’ll need is regular oral hygiene and a professional cleaning. At other times, you may need medication or a similar solution.

You may also deal with bleeding gums if you are taking medications that reduce clotting. If this is the case, speak to your dentist for specific help. Similarly, if you’ve just started flossing, your gums may bleed for a little while. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop within a week, please contact our dentist. Finally, you could have a toothbrush that’s too hard. Hard bristles can aggravate your gums, making them more susceptible to bleeding.

If you would like to learn more—or are interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Denise M. Walthour— please feel free to contact Powell Boulevard Dental at 503-235-7181.