Let’s Talk about Bleeding Gums

Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? This is a loaded question, but for the purpose of this blog post, let’s start with an overview.

Bleeding gums can occur because of something as simple as trauma to the tissue (think brushing or flossing too hard) but it can also have a more serious reason: gum disease.

What is gum disease?

The condition of your gums can be either a state of health or a state of disease. The state of disease your gums are in, can vary widely. Gum disease can be broken down into two main subcategories:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis


Gingivitis is the more simple form of the two. When a person has gingivitis, it means that their gums are inflamed, literally – “gingi” coming from the word gingiva, which is the dental term for gums and “-itis” which is the medical term for inflammation. Inflammation can cause bleeding gums. The positive note about gingivitis is that if it exists in your mouth, you can eliminate it. That is, your gums can return to health. I will often tell a client who has gingivitis, that this is a warning sign from their mouth: something isn’t right here, however, you can still fix it. If left untreated, gingivitis can continue wreaking havoc on your gums and cross over the threshold from gingivitis to periodontitis.


In the case of periodontitis, inflammation is also happening. “Periodont,” is part of the word periodontium, which is the dental term for the structures that hold the tooth in mouth, and “-itis” which means inflammation. So periodontitis means the structures that hold your tooth in the mouth, are inflamed. The biggest difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is that with periodontitis, the disease has progressed further into the gums and your jaw bone. Unfortunately, in the case of periodontitis, once a person has it, they are no longer able to completely rid their mouth of this particular disease – however, not all hope is lost because with the right tools, technique, and help, one can go into remission. 

What can you do?

Your first step, if you’re experiencing bleeding gums, would be to contact your dental hygienist. Your dental hygienist can tell you what state your gums are in, and then come up with a plan to either, keep your mouth and gums healthy, try to bring your gums back to health, or how to work towards getting your gums into remission. Your dental hygienist will also give you tools and techniques that you can implement at home to help on your journey to reduce the inflammation in your gums.

Inflammation anywhere in your body is never good, and inflammation in your mouth is just the same. Let’s help you get your mouth healthy so you can be healthy as a whole. If you’re looking to book your next dental hygiene appointment, consider booking with us, at Tooth Goals.


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