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Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that surround your teeth caused by a buildup of plaque. The symptoms of gingivitis may include:

  • bleeding gums

  • red, swollen, tender gums

  • bad breath

Some factors that can put you at higher risk of developing gingivitis include:

  • poor dental care

  • smoking or chewing tobacco 

  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean 

  • pregnancy

  • diabetes

  • medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives

  • genetics

This might sound scary, but at this stage the disease is still reversible. Eliminating the infection can be as easy as a trip to the dentist for a professional cleaning, as well as daily brushing and flossing. When you first start to floss daily, it is normal for your gums to bleed for a week or two. It is because swollen gums are getting used to cleaning between the teeth. Some pregnant women develop a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis,” causing inflamed gums that can be swollen and tender. Some blood thinning medication and brushing too hard can also cause your gums to bleed. Most people who have gingivitis and gum disease don't realize it because it is usually painless. This is why it’s important to schedule regular dental checkups in addition to maintaining a good dental routine of brushing and flossing.

Brian Y. Kuo DDS FAGD

(626) 800-8022

😁 Prevent gum disease for healthy teeth and a beautiful smile!


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