Gums that bleed when they are brushed are generally inflamed. This can be due either gingivitis or to an underlying medical problem. Most patients with this complaint have a gingiviits. Gingivitis is the dental term for inflamed gums and is different than the term Periodontitis. Gingivitis means that the gingiva” is inflamed. When viewing gums with gingivitis the gums seem more red and edematous (swollen). This can be most easily visualized after the gums are dried either with air or drying with cotton two by two. Edematous gums tend to lose their stippling (appearance like an orange peel) and can have a red or even bluish look due to the dilation of capillaries present. When a tooth brush presses on inflamed gingival tissue it can cause bleeding


Periodontitis is also an inflammatory condition that primarily affects the underlying tissues supporting the teeth, It can be associated with bone loss around teeth and pocketing (5mm or greater) around teeth. In my opinion a patient can experience both gingivitis and periodontitis simultaneously since some areas may have gingivitis and other areas may be affected by periodontal disease. Most dentists refer to these as separate diagnoses, but they can be present in different parts of the mouth at the same time.

Most patients can make gingivits go away by improving their home care techniques and by visiting their dentist for regular and frequent cleanings. Also using a good electric toothbrush can make dental hygiene easier for most patients. Also cleaning between your teeth is important and can be accomplished by using floss, Stimudents, or small interproximal brushes.