303: How To Reverse Gingivitis + Bleeding Gums

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I never thought that I would get diagnosed with gingivitis + struggle with horribly painful, bleeding gums.

But after months of intense stress, my mouth was really struggling at the end of 2022.

After what was one of the most painful dental cleanings of my entire life, the dentist explained that I had pretty bad gingivitis with pockets forming around my teeth.

Plus, a really sensitive spot on a tooth + weird burning spots on my gums that he couldn’t explain.

After this tear-filled experience, I promised my dentist to turn things around.

Since many of you know from other episodes of the Healthy Skin Show that the health of your oral microbiome is equally important to that of your gut, I want to share what helped me reverse gingivitis + bleeding gums.

Here’s what I did AND the products that helped me!

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In this episode:

  • How I developed bleeding gums + gingivitis
  • What symptoms led to this diagnosis (+ what the dentist recommended)
  • What steps I took to reverse bleeding gums
  • The products that I used to treat my gingivitis
  • What my dentist said at my six-month follow-up visit (amazing!)


I also discovered that many of the conventional + widely available dental floss products are coated with Teflon (PFAS)!

A recent July 2023 study found that the effect of hydroxyapatite on cavity prevention is very comparable to fluoride toothpaste.


Woman brushing her teeth

303: How To Reverse Gingivitis + Bleeding Gums (FULL TRANSCRIPT)

Welcome back to episode #303 of the Healthy Skin Show!

In today’s episode, I’m going to share how I stopped horribly painful bleeding gums AND reversed gingivitis in about six months!

I’ve discussed the importance of the oral microbiome in several episodes of the show.

So if you’re thinking that my talking about oral health on a show focused on chronic skin problems seems strange, it’s not.

The oral microbiome is just as important as your gut microbiome when it comes to your health + chronic skin problems. So not only is there the concept of leaky gut, but also leaky gums!

Because of my experience this past year, I asked listeners if you wanted to know how I completely reversed the gingivitis diagnosis I got in less than six months – and the answer was YES!

So I figured I’d share what happened AND the products that I used to help me accomplish this.


journey along a long empty road

My Journey With Bleeding Gums + Gingivitis

After months of living under a ton of stress dealing with family matters, I started to experience bleeding gums every time I’d brush my teeth. Admittedly, I probably wasn’t being as diligent as I could have been with my dental routine.

Yes, I was brushing my teeth daily, but I wasn’t consistently flossing nor did I use any additional mouth rinse (especially since so many of the dental experts I’ve had on the show warn of issues created with alcohol-based products).

Then I began to have pretty intense tooth pain in one of my lower right molars. This one spot became extremely sensitive, even to the touch, and was quite irritated. I couldn’t even stand to really brush it let alone have something touch it that was really hot or cold.

And as if this wasn’t bad enough, I was also getting these weird spots on my gums that would feel like they were burned by something much too hot (like when you bite into a way too hot piece of pizza).

One area of my gum would become so angry + painful that it got hard to eat.

I worried that maybe this was some sort of infection because I did not eat anything hot. As the pain got worse, I decided to contact my dentist who suggested that I try gargling with warm salt water first.

While that helped, I was concerned that something was really wrong given that I had these three issues that seemed to start around the same time.


Dentist giving gingivitis diagnosis

My Dentist Diagnosed Me With Gingivitis…

At my six-month appointment the following week, it seemed like things took a turn for the worse.

While I’ve been pretty lucky with my dental health, especially being in my 40s and only having had one cavity ever…

This dental cleaning was one of the most painful dental experiences I’ve ever had.

I assure you, it wasn’t my dental hygienist. She was very knowledgeable.

It was my gums which were so inflamed that I found myself trying to slide down in the chair away from her tools because of how painful every movement was.

I imagine that some of you may have had this experience of wanting to literally get up out of the dental chair and leave.

I had tears streaming down my face just trying to mentally get through it all.

My gums were bleeding a ton as well as being extremely swollen + inflamed.

And as she finally wrapped up what felt like hours of torture, she apologized for how much pain I was in, but explained that the reason I was so uncomfortable was because I had pretty bad gingivitis.

The dentist then came in to discuss everything + explained further that I was starting to get deep pockets which can lead to periodontal disease.

Since it runs in my family, I’d need to start coming in every three months so that hopefully more care would reduce the inflammation in addition to me doing a better job at home.

I promised that I’d completely turn things around + asked them to give me six months to prove it to them.

Obviously, you already have guessed that what I did massively helped, so let’s talk about it!


Woman brushing her teeth

My Dental Routine That Healed Gingivitis

I really like my dentist, but I don’t necessarily agree with the products that he recommends. He’s pretty conventional.

That said, I did take the pointers he advised about brushing habits, flossing + mouthwash using a lot of the knowledge I’ve learned from interviewing dental experts.

It was now painfully clear (pun intended!) that I needed to spend 2 to 3 minutes twice a day brushing my teeth. I already use an electric toothbrush so there was nothing to swap out there.

Since I wasn’t flossing much at all because it was painful + made my gums bleed, I accepted that this was a necessary addition that I’d just have to get used to. The dentist promised that the more consistently I flossed, the less painful it would become + would actually stop my bleeding gums.

So I planned to floss every night to remove food particles from between the teeth that my toothbrush wasn’t actually getting to.

And lastly, I said that I would use a mouthwash product daily. What I didn’t say is that I wasn’t going to use the alcohol-based mouthwashes they recommended.

Rather than arguing with them, I embraced these habit changes + focused on finding dental products that could address my needs + concerns that included:

  1. The tooth sensitivity that I was experiencing in that molar
  2. The weird, burning gum patches that would show up without any clear reason
  3. Fluoride-free + alcohol-free dental products that would support my oral microbiome
  4. Cleaner ingredients all around

I also discovered that many of the conventional + widely available dental floss products are coated with Teflon (PFAS) so my aversion to those products was warranted!

So again, I just needed to find cleaner alternative products that I was comfortable with using.


Woman using dental floss to clean teeth

Home Remedies To Reverse Gingivitis + Bleeding Gums

Before I dive into this list, it’s worth mentioning that while these products worked for me + clearly helped me, they might not be a good fit for everyone.

I realize that everyone has different dental issues as well as various sensitivities + allergies (so please check all ingredients!).

But I do think that this could be a good starting point so you have at least a first-hand experience of a routine + the products used that helped someone (namely me!).


Here are the products that I used AND how I used them…

Since I wasn’t able to slide Teflon between my teeth, I tried out the Scrubby Mint dental floss from Risewell which also contained hydroxyapatite (that can help remineralize teeth). I really ended up liking it because it’s not a “sharp-edged” tape-style of floss which felt like I was constantly cutting into my gums.

As for my toothpaste, I ended up going with three different products.

In the morning, I brush with the Mineral Toothpaste from Risewell which again contains hydroxyapatite. Within 10 days of starting this, the sensitive spot on my molar completely went away + has not returned.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of hydroxyapatite, a new study was published about 2 weeks ago on July 18, 2023 in Frontiers of Public Health called “​​Caries-preventing effect of a hydroxyapatite-toothpaste in adults: a 18-month double-blinded randomized clinical trial” showing that its effects on preventing cavities are very comparable to fluoride toothpaste.(1)

In the evening, I brush with Dentalcidin to help with making positive shifts to the oral microbiome based on the hunch that I had about the weird, burning spots that would show up on my gums that the dentist couldn’t explain.

And then twice a week, I would swap out the evening toothpaste to brush with Redmond’s Tooth Powder (with Charcoal) to slowly remove any tartar build-up from my teeth. I especially focused on areas where I am prone to getting plaque. (Use coupon code HEALTHYSKINSHOW to get 15% of your entire purchase at Redmond’s website!)

As for the mouthwash, I again went with two different products alternating them every other day.

I use the Balancing Mouthwash from Risewell which contains xylitol – an important ingredient that can support a healthy oral microbiome.

And I swap that with the Dentalcidin LS Liposomal Rinse which again is supportive of reducing unfriendly microbes. I swish 2 pumps in my mouth for a couple of minutes before spitting it out.


tools for dental care

How I Reversed Bleeding Gums + Gingivitis

While this might seem like overkill, intense pain is certainly a huge motivator.

Besides the pain, I’ve seen first-hand what close family members have dealt with living with periodontal disease. So I knew that this was a potential make-or-break moment + that I needed to make some significant changes.

I was diligent with this routine for 5 months leading up to my six-month follow-up cleaning. Even before I saw the dentist, I noticed that I no longer had any issues with bleeding gums.

There appeared to me to be noticeably less plaque build-up behind my lower front teeth.

I didn’t get any of those burning gum patches – that completely stopped after the third month of this routine.

And my tooth was no longer painfully sensitive.

The cleaning was pretty close to a breeze not only because it was not painful, but the amount of times the hygienist needed to use her pokey tools to scrape my teeth was pretty minimal.

I asked her if she saw an improvement + if so, how much of an improvement did she see (hoping that she too noticed how much work I’d put in).

She said, “Not only do you NOT have gingivitis anymore, but your teeth + gums are 90% better than when you were here six months ago!”

Both she + my dentist were extremely impressed that I kept my promise to put in the work + get my dental health back on track.

I honestly wasn’t sure if I would stick to this (yes, despite all that pain I experienced) or if I could get back to a place where I no longer had gingivitis anymore.

But I was able to make it happen + I’m really glad that I could work on my oral microbiome + support cavity prevention.

I hope this is helpful + reminds you that it is absolutely possible to improve your oral health… especially if you aren’t comfortable using the conventional dental products on the market.

Check out the products I’ve shared here as well as that new study on hydroxyapatite!

If you’ve got any questions or thoughts to share about this, leave a comment below so I can address them.

Thank you so much for tuning in and I look forward to digging deeper with you in the next episode!

PS. Here's some feedback I got on this episode from a dental hygienist after she tuned in…


1. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2023.1199728/full


Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS

Jennifer Fugo, MS, CNS is an integrative Clinical Nutritionist and the founder of Skinterrupt. She works with women who are fed up with chronic gut and skin rash issues discover the root causes and create a plan to get them back to a fuller, richer life.

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