Red or swollen gums
Inflammation in the form of red, puffy, or tender gums could be a sign of periodontal disease (better known as gum disease). “Inflammation or discomfort is caused by bacteria that accumulates around the teeth and proliferates when it is not mechanically removed by flossing, brushing, and your six-month dental cleaning appointment,” says Mazen Natour, DMD, a prosthodontist in New York City. It’s important to treat it so it doesn’t advance to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that causes gums to recede from teeth and form pockets that can become infected. These are surprising ways you might be brushing your teeth wrong.
Blood in the sink
If you spit out blood after brushing and swishing, take note. “Bleeding after tooth brushing is a big sign and can signal gingivitis,” says Lance Vernon, DMD, senior instructor at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that causes bleeding gums, especially after brushing or eating. Luckily, it’s usually reversed with daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular cleanings by a dentist. These are other reasons you might have bleeding gums.