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Infection or flossing too roughly (is that possible)?



Junior member
Jan 4, 2020
Hi everyone,

I'm really sorry to bother again with another one of my concerns. Two nights ago when I was flossing my left backmost molar, there was a little bleeding. I had the wisdom tooth behind it removed over a year ago and the gum has grown back, but I suddenly realised there was a little raised bump on that part of the gum. The bump is hard, painless even when I prod it, and the same colour as the rest of the gum. But I got very anxious because I was afraid it would be a burgeoning abscess in the area.

I think maybe that little bump has been there for a while, but coupled with the blood on the floss, I basically freaked out and kept flossing the area for a good few minutes or more. I pretty much lost track of time. I'm not sure if I was too rough (or if it's possible to be too rough with floss), but eventually the area started hurting quite a bit as I flossed. I rinsed with warm salt water later but the area was still throbbing.

Now the area still stings when I floss it (the sort of sharp pain you get with paper cuts) and if I continue to floss, it bleeds along with a tingly/throbbing sensation around that area of my jaw. I'm really worried that this is some sort of infection. At the same time, I don't know if I somehow managed to cut myself on the gum with the floss (?) and if I'm being too rough (literally and mentally) on myself and overworrying again.

I'm scheduled for bitewing x-rays in early Feb, but I've contacted the hospital dental team to see if I can push it to the upcoming week. In the meantime, is there anything I can do? Should I continue flossing the area till the bleeding stops entirely? Sorry, I'm just really confused and upset right now ?
Let me start by saying I'm not a dentist.

Yes, it's possible to be too rough with floss. Make sure the floss goes in the space between the gum and your tooth. You want to avoid applying strong pressure on your gums with the floss, which could cause harm to your gums.

Next time you floss, pay attention to what you do, be careful of the way you do it and don't be too agressive in the way you do it. Sometimes simply doing that will already help a lot. Warm salt water should also help. Talking to an hygienist or dentist should help you figure out the proper technique to use in your situation and what is going on.
Great advice from geos.
I would say in this case you may well have traumatised the area with a spot of fear induced over flossing. Leave the area alone for a few days then return to flossing, initially very gently. It will bleed the first few times you do it as the area if inflamed but this will stop after a week or two.
Hope it resolves quickly

Thank you geos and drhirst :)

Just a quick update for anyone who might stumble across this thread - I was worried that it was indeed an infection when I developed a headache + soreness over the left cheek and jaw areas a couple days after making this thread, despite flossing the area minimally.

I finally just got to see the dentist and after some tests and a bitewing xray, he concluded that my teeth are actually very clean (no signs of decay/cracks as well) and the gums are not inflamed/infected. He suggested perhaps I had traumatised the gum area unwittingly, so perhaps it truly was the floss. There'll be a follow-up two weeks from now to make sure everything is alright. As for the muscle soreness, I suspect it's probably because of the anxiety over this and physical tension from stress at work the past few days.

TLDR, stress is bad and allows you to imagine the most horrible things, so I'm going to focus more effort on reducing that instead ;)
Your dentist can notice if the gum is traumatized at a certain point. If he didn't pick up anything bad, that should be a good sign that you are on the road to heal. It's great that he will see you again in 2 weeks to confirm everything is good.

For the muscle soreness, try stuff that calms you and stuff that would help the muscles.