Bleeding Gums and Gingivitis

Posted by Gregg L Lage DDS Mar 11, 2021

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According to the CDC, almost 50% of Americans have gum disease. Many people avoid trips to the dentist and may ignore symptoms like bleeding gums. However, gum disease is progressive. It begins as gingivitis, which is a reversible condition. Without proper treatment, the disease will advance to periodontitis. This is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss.

Patients need to be aware of warning signs of gingivitis. With better oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings, patients can halt the progression of gum disease.

Warning signs of gingivitis

Patients should pay attention to signs of gum disease, as it is easier to treat the condition in the early stages.

Bleeding gums

At some point in their lives, almost all patients experience bleeding gums. This symptom is so common that many are not alarmed by it. Healthy gums do not bleed when a patient brushes and flosses.

When plaque accumulates at the gumline, it becomes a reservoir for harmful bacteria. This bacteria irritates the sensitive gum tissue, causing it to bleed. Patients see improvement of this condition when they begin brushing more effectively at the gumline. Flossing is also essential, as it removes plaque trapped in the gum tissue between the teeth.

Painful or swollen gums

Some patients experience painful gum tissue in the advanced stages of gingivitis. Plaque is an irritant to the gums and causes swelling. When the gums are painful to touch, patients may avoid brushing and flossing. This only exacerbates the problem, allowing gingivitis to progress further.

Patients who experience painful and bleeding gums need a professional teeth cleaning. During this procedure, a dental hygienist removes plaque from the gumline. Patients are given instructions for effective teeth cleaning at home. Until the source of the swelling is removed, the condition cannot improve.

Bad breath

The bacteria that cause gingivitis produce a foul odor. Patients with early stages of gum disease often experience chronic halitosis. Because plaque is the source of the bacteria, bad breath will not go away without better oral hygiene habits. Patients must commit to brushing and flossing at least twice daily.

Mouthwashes can be effective oral hygiene aids. Patients should choose a mouthwash that does not contain alcohol. This ingredient can dry out the oral tissues, making bad breath worse. When used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, alcohol-free mouthwash can help treat halitosis.


Many patients accept bleeding gums as a symptom that everyone experiences. Patients may not be aware that this common condition is an indicator of gum disease. Few are aware of how serious the progression of gum disease can be.

Because gingivitis is reversible, patients need to be aware of red flags that point to it. With a better understanding of the condition, patients can take steps to avoid its detrimental effects on the teeth and gums. For those concerned about gum disease and its progression, set up a consultation with a dentist to learn more.

Request an appointment here: or call Gregg L Lage DDS, PC at 303-427-4552 for an appointment in our Denver office.

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