Are your gums left bleeding after a deep cleaning from your dentist or hygienist?

First off, do not be alarmed if a deep cleaning has left your gums bleeding.

“Gums heal very quickly,” begins Laurence (Larry) Grayhills, DMD, MS, MAGD, member of the Academy of General Dentistry.

“Just as a cut or scrape responds within a matter of days of cleaning a wound, removing bacteria-laden calculus (aka, tartar) by a dental professional will produce results within 24 hours,” continues Dr. Grayhills.

“One will notice a reduction of inflammation (red, swollen gums) returning to a nice firm consistency with an ‘orange peel’ stippling.

“In light skinned individuals, the change from red, bleeding gums will transform to non-bleeding coral pink.

“In dark skinned individuals, the color change may not be as obvious, but the transformation to non-bleeding occurs within days.

“It’s important to note that unless meticulous home care is maintained, this type of healing may not occur.

“Flossing is the most important procedure to prevent gingivitis ( irritated, bleeding gums) and periodontitis (loss of bony support around your teeth).”

Tips on How to Prevent Bleeding Gums after a Professional Cleaning


The dental professional uses a sharp tool for the scraping portion of the cleaning. The actual polishing may also be more aggressive than what the patient is used to.

So if you are not a regular flosser, you can expect some blood after the cleaning.

If you hate flossing or can never remember to do it, at least make a point to begin flossing three weeks from your dental appointment, to give your gums enough time to “toughen up” for the professional scraping and cleaning.

Floss thoroughly, and do not be alarmed if this draws blood. Do not be alarmed if you taste blood.

After several days of thorough flossing, you’ll be bleeding a lot less. In under a week you should not be bleeding at all.

  • Do not skip any days.
  • Do not go to sleep with meat and other food stuck between your teeth.
  • Floss after the meal if possible.

Finally, when brushing your teeth, make sure to brush behind them as well, and also gently brush your upper and lower gums!

Dr. Grayhills is with Mohip Dental & Associates, of FL, which provides the highest level of cosmetic, restorative, prosthetic and emergency dental care available.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


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