Solving the Mystery behind Flossing and Receding Gums


Solving-the-Mystery-behind-Flossing-and-Receding-GumsIf you are plagued by the question can flossing cause receding gums, you are not alone. Gum recession involves a significantly obvious loss of protective tissue. Healthy gums/ gingiva and periodontal connective tissue/periodontal ligaments will envelop holistically. They will also wholly support the tooth in the jaw bone. 

Moreover, you can determine the wellbeing of gums if they fit firmly and in a snug manner. This fit should be near the teeth covering the root area. The first red flag you should look out for is the exposure of the root. Continued deterioration will result in the loss of secure attachment between the teeth and gums. 

From a realistic point of view, there are no major downfalls when it comes to flossing.  The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research concluded that the benefits of flossing far outweigh the consequences. Small pockets of harmful bacteria can actually be extracted when floss is used efficiently. The American Dental Association recommends flossing your teeth at least once every 24 hours. 

There’s research that suggests that periodontitis may be linked to obesity, increased sugar levels, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, etc. Flossing does realistically reduce the risk of gingivitis. This can inadvertently reduce the risk of the aforementioned and other more serious medical condition

Causes of Receding Gums

Although you might want to blame flossing to be the villain behind your damaged gums this isn’t completely accurate. A number of factors contribute to this ailment: 

  • The byproduct of Gum Disease: In actuality, if you do not floss and remove filthy deposits you can be encouraging your gums to recede. Daily oral hygiene prevents toxins from bacterial metabolisms to be produced. Overlooking this crucial daily habit will lead to irritated and inflamed gums that loss their healthy vitality. This inflammation will, in turn, destroy connective and gingival tissues. Following this, gums separate and retreat away from the surface to the root of the tooth. 
  • Aggressive Flossing: Adopting extremes will always cause an undesirable outcome. Excessive friction and force applied while flossing does play a part in the gum recession. It can harm thin gum tissue and cause it to completely break down.
  • Plaque buildup along the gum line.

Symptoms of Receding Gums:

In the early stages, you may not even notice your gums decaying. Initially, there’s subtle and occasional bleeding or just some tender spots. Successive progression will portray more tangible signs and sensory sensations:

  • Bad breath (halitosis).
  • Highly sensitive teeth.
  • Treatment of gingivitis and swollen gums can reveal the underlying receding problem
  • Teeth appearance seems altered. They appear to be longer than what is deemed normal.
  • Bleeding gums while flossing or brushing.
  • The roots of your teeth become exposed and very visible to the naked eye.
  • Inflamed and reddened gums.
  • Your tooth may feel notched at the gum line.
  • The illusion of space between teeth increasing.
  • A color difference might become obvious due to the variance in color between the cementum and enamel.
  • Cavities will form below the gum line.

Making the most of Flossing

You need to focus on effectiveness, not quantity and activity. This basically means you shouldn’t only floss in locations that have residual particles trapped in them. You need to take the time and effort to floss each gap thoroughly to ensure complete elimination of waste.

  • Don’t only floss gums and teeth that are easy to reach. Extend the dental floss to the corners as well.
  • Use a proper and dentist approved technique that won’t be harmful to the gum tissue.

Remedies for Sickly Gums

Receding gums and periodontal disease are not to be taken light-heartedly. There are conventional steps you can undertake to alleviate problems associated with gum weakening:

  • Deep cleaning: Scaling and root planning are an extreme cleaning process. Lasers may also be included to scrape off the tartar from above and below the gum line.
  • Flap Surgery: Regenerating bone and gum might require bone and tissue grafts.
  • Oral antibiotics: Prescriptions are a common remedy.
  • Antimicrobial/ Antibacterial Mouthwash: To kill off the infection some gels and mouthwashes attack bacteria and reduce bacteria-filled pockets.
  • Select all natural floss. These should not contain PFOA or nonstick compounds.
  • The best flossing method involves using it between teeth. Pull the thread up against the side of each tooth. Then clean each one in gentle mechanical movements individually. Only floss teeth, not gums.
  • This interdental cleaner is designed particularly to target cleaning tight crevices. They also squeeze into gaps between the base of teeth and gums. Contact points between gums and teeth are where flossing comes in handy. Tiny substances harden and accrete gradually to form tartar i.e. a thick deposit. You don’t want to spend hours in a dentist chair with a scraper when a simple string can be helpful.
  • If there is one specific spot of gums that bleed and diminish more, floss more there. This will ensure complete extraction of grime.
  • You can consider purchasing a water flosser. A string flosser can seem harsher and more painful. These are considerably softer to use.

The Correct Flossing Technique:

  • Wrap 18in/45cm of floss around your fingers.
  • Insert the dental floss following a C-shape pattern.
  • Glide the floss back and forth as gently but effectively as possible.
  • Gradually slide it closer to the gum line with caution. You don’t want to slice into the gums.
  • Slide the floss in the same motion between the tooth and gum line.
  • Pull the floss around the next tooth after sliding it out in a parallel angle.
  • Repeat for each tooth.


Flossing is a proactive approach to dealing with receding gums. However, if the recession continues on despite regular flossing for more than 10 days then it is time to call the dentist. This is specifically important for patients who have a family history of gum disease. 

Feel free to experiment with waxed, unwaxed, tufted, super floss, dental tape, and floss holders. Receding gum treatment is possible so don’t overlook it. Finally, in response to the question can flossing cause receding gums, the answer is no.

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