Early diagnosis of gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease, is essential in addressing this preventable problem before it leads to something more severe.

If you have red, swollen gums, or see blood in the sink when you’re brushing, and/or if you have chronic bad breath, you might be dealing with gingivitis. Tender gums can also be an indicator.

Inflamed Gum Tissue

It’s likely you’re experiencing gingivitis if your gums become tender to the touch, or bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. Your gums should be pink and firm. To keep the condition from progressing, proper, regular — and gentle! — oral care is essential.

Bleeding During Cleaning

Brushing and flossing shouldn’t cause bleeding. You may think you’re just brushing too hard, but if you keep seeing blood in the sink, this is a likely sign that preventative measures need to be taken before your gingivitis symptoms worsen.


Usually a result of plaque buildup on the tongue, bad breath (halitosis) can also be an indicator of gingivitis. In this case, plaque likely isn’t being properly removed.

Advanced Signs

When symptoms of gingivitis worsen and progress to periodontitis, sufferers may experience pain during chewing, sensitivity to hot and cold, receding gums, and loose teeth.

Limit your susceptibility to gingivitis by rinsing with LISTERINE® Antiseptic mouthwash.