Spot Early Signs of Gingivitis
If your gums are red or swollen, or if they bleed easily when you brush and floss your teeth, you may have gum disease. Approximately 50 percent of adults in the United States have some type of gum disease, and gingivitis is among the most common.
If you have gingivitis, your bleeding and irritated gums are caused by a buildup of bacteria around your gums and between your teeth. Although bacteria often associated with poor oral hygiene is the main cause of gingivitis, other factors such as a chronic illness, a compromised immune system or pregnancy can make you more susceptible.
Gingivitis is rarely painful when it first develops, so it is important to examine your teeth and gums daily while flossing to look for early signs of trouble.
- Check your toothbrush. If you see pink on the bristles, your gums may be bleeding from the slight pressure of tooth brushing, which may indicate the early stages of an infection.
- Check your gum color. Gums in the early stages of gingivitis may look dull and red rather than bright and pink
- Check your gum texture. Gums in the early stages of gingivitis may appear soft and swollen. Healthy gums should be fairly firm and they should not be pulling away from the teeth.