Who wants to kiss a mouth full of bloody gums? Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, is characterized by swollen and bleeding gums. It is uncomfortable and can be the first step toward tooth loss. Gingivitis is caused by plaque irritating the gums; if not corrected, the acids can break down the tissue, leading to periodontitis, which causes irreparable bone and gum loss.
Regular brushing, flossing and professional cleaning can prevent gingivitis. However, it should not cause panic; the American Dental Association believes that 75 percent of adults are affected. Following the recommended brushing and flossing routine can alleviate gingivitis. Additionally, a saltwater rinse can reduce irritation and kill bacteria. After eating, if you can't brush immediately, rinse your mouth with water to remove particles and soothe gums.