I had a dental bridge placed just over a year ago to replace some teeth that had to be extracted due to significant gum disease. Now, I am experiencing swollen gums and bleeding around the bridge. Should I be flossing between the bridge and the gum? I thought that since the bridge was designed (and does) fit snugly against the gum, it should prevent food from getting trapped underneath. But I am noticing some bleeding of my gums under the bridge when I brush.
Alonse in Boston
You do need to continue to floss underneath the bridge to maintain the health of your gums and prevent further bone loss around your teeth. You can look in the dental products aisle of your local store to find special floss threaders designed to help you floss under a dental bridge. Also, we would recommend asking your dental hygienist to show you how to floss around your bridge properly at your next cleaning appointment.
You need to see your dentist to get to the bottom of why your gums are bleeding. It could be that your gum disease has recurred and is affecting the teeth that are anchoring your bridge on either side. Or, it could be that the bridge was placed before area was completely healed from the previous tooth extractions. Whatever the cause, it is important to have the issue taken care of before it becomes a bigger problem.
This post brought to you by Lowell dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.