Bleeding Gums?
You’ll Need to Read This

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

June 5, 2022 [printfriendly]


Have you been brushing your teeth a little too rough and noticed your gums bleeding?

Or maybe you were flossing a bit too intensely and noticed a few spots of blood?

You’re not alone!

93.9% of the US population has some form of bleeding or inflamed gums! 

If your gums are healthy, a little aggressive brushing (while not recommended for many reasons) isn’t going to make your gums bleed. Bleeding gums are your warning sign that your mouth is experiencing early stages of gingivitis or periodontal disease.

Even if you notice bleeding in just one area occasionally, it is a sign of gum disease. Your gums should never bleed unless you cut them. For example, it you cleaned your fingernails with a nail brush, you wouldn’t expect the cuticle areas to bleed. Your gum tissues are as strong as the cuticles of your nails. As I said, if they are healthy, they should never bleed unless you cut them!

Today, we’re going to look at what bleeding gums mean, and I’ll share a unique way to halt the progression of periodontal disease.


Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums are signs of the early stages of Periodontal Disease, which includes gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is infection only in the gum tissues. Periodontitis is an advancing stage of gingivitis that progresses into the jawbone creating severe damage.

In 2010, a published paper suggested that 93.9% of adults in the United States had some form of gum inflammation or bleeding gums [1], which frequently has its origin in an unhealthy gut.[2],[3]

As I mentioned, the infection causing bleeding gums (gingivitis) can progress under the gum tissues to damage the jawbone, which is known as periodontitis. But not all cases of gingivitis turn into periodontitis. When periodontitis occurs, it can destroy the jawbone, eventually causing teeth to be lost.

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published their results in the Journal of Dental Research, which was updated in 2015 in the Journal of Periodontology.[4] It showed the prevalence of periodontitis was estimated to be 47.2% for American adults (approximately 64.7 million people at the time of the original study in 2012). For adults 65 years old and older, the prevalence jumped to 70.1%. These findings were the result of the most comprehensive periodontal evaluation performed ever in the US.

An unhealthy gut, poor food choices, inefficient oral hygiene, and toxic lifestyle choices contribute to bleeding gums and other forms of periodontal disease. I’ve summarized this in Leaky Gut, Leaky Mouth.[5]

One thing is certain. If you have bleeding gums, then inflammation and infection will continue to spread from your mouth to other areas of your body. Make no mistake about it. Many chronic diseases have been shown to have their origin from active periodontal disease.[6]


What Should You Do?

To start, you need to improve your diet[7], develop efficient daily oral hygiene protocols[8], and improve your gut health[9].

Next, you’ll also need to have a biologically oriented dentist[10] evaluate your oral health. If you have damage in your teeth, gum tissues, or jawbone, you must have it treated correctly and as soon as possible. The last thing you want to do is “wait and see how it progresses”.[11]


Importance of Mitochondria

This is important:

It appears that active periodontal disease may be the direct result of specific virulent bacteria causing an overproduction of free radicals in the mitochondria of the gum tissue cells. [12]

The mitochondria are like the batteries in a flashlight. The mitochondria provide the electrical energy to power that cell to function as it is designed to function – just as the batteries in a flashlight create the power for the flashlight to work.

This also is critical to understand:

When these free radicals are neutralized, the infection tends to be tamed and further destruction from periodontal disease may be reduced even though the bacteria are still present.[13]

So, that brings up a fascinating question: Is there something that can eliminate the damaging free radical production in the mitochondria of the gum tissues, which could stop the progression of periodontal disease?

The answer is, “Yes!”

It is Molecular Hydrogen.


Molecular Hydrogen

Nanobubbles of molecular hydrogen can be dispersed in water to create hydrogen rich water.

Drinking hydrogen rich water can increase the concentration of molecular hydrogen in blood and tissues. And molecular hydrogen has been shown to neutralize damaging free radicals![14]

Furthermore, drinking hydrogen rich water may neutralize the excess free radicals and inflammatory reactions in the gum and surrounding tissues. Here are a few peer-reviewed medical papers demonstrating the actions of hydrogen rich water on periodontal disease.

  • In a 2013 study[15], researchers demonstrated in vitro that hydrogen rich water had antibacterial effects on specific pathogens that caused periodontal disease.
  • And in a 2015 randomized control trial involving 13 human patients with periodontitis[16], investigators demonstrated that drinking hydrogen rich water enhanced the effects of non-surgical periodontal treatment by further reducing inflammation in the tissues.
  • In a 2017 paper[17], the authors proved that hydrogen rich water was able to neutralize free radicals in infected gum tissues cells in vitro and to protect them from oxidative damage as well as promote wound healing.
  • Finally, in a study published in 2022[18], molecular hydrogen suppressed periodontitis progression by decreasing gingival oxidative stress, which is the result of excess free radical production.

So, drinking molecular hydrogen dispersed as nanobubbles in water appears to be an excellent adjunctive treatment for periodontal disease.

I wrote about molecular hydrogen and hydrogen rich water in January 2022.[19] In my paper, I discussed the documented medical research showing the overall health benefits from molecular hydrogen as well as why and how I drink hydrogen rich water.


How To Use Molecular Hydrogen

The product I use is HRW Rejuvenation Tablets. These patented tablets contain magnesium. Chemically, when magnesium nanoparticles react with water, nano-sized bubbles of hydrogen gas are produced by the following chemical reaction; Mg + 2H2O → Mg (OH)2 + H2.

One recent study suggested that 7.5mg/L (15 PPM) of molecular hydrogen per day will provide significant clinical results.[20] Here’s how to consume a dose of 7.5mg/L a day:

Dissolve 1 tablet of HRW Rejuvenation in 250 mL (about 8 ounces) of spring water in the AM and do the same in the afternoon.

When you’re ready to drink the hydrogen water, drop the tablet into room temperature water, which must not be carbonated. The tablet will dissolve and make the water look very “cloudy”. The “cloudy look” is the nano-sized molecular hydrogen bubbles dispersed in the water. It is important to let the tablet completely dissolve. Then drink the solution immediately all at once. If the “cloudiness” goes away, the hydrogen gas will be gone, and the benefit of the hydrogen-infused water will be lost.

You should consume each dose on an empty stomach.

You may have increased benefits if you double the dose. That’s what I do. To reach a dose of 15mg/L per day, dissolve 2 tablets in 500 mL in the AM and another 2 tablets in 500 mL in the PM.

I use Mountain Valley Spring water[21] as my source of natural spring water. I also add 1 teaspoon of SOLE[22] to my morning drink containing the molecular hydrogen.

A side benefit of using HRW Rejuvenation tablets is that the magnesium used to create the molecular hydrogen will provide additional magnesium for your body.


Your Takeaway

If your gums bleed or if you have more advanced periodontal disease, you need to be proactive as I suggested:

  • Improve your diet[23]
  • Develop efficient daily oral hygiene protocols[24]
  • Improve your gut health[25]

You can improve your periodontal health by reducing the free radical production in the mitochondria of unhealthy gum tissue cells. Excess free radicals allow this infection to progress. By consuming hydrogen rich water, you can help neutralize these free radicals and assist periodontal tissues to heal.

As an additional and significant benefit, drinking hydrogen rich water will provide molecular hydrogen to all parts of your body and will help neutralize unhealthy and damaging excess free radicals wherever they exist.

Finding the right dental professional can be a challenge. I created this blog post, 10 Questions to ask your Biological Dentist, to help you ensure you are getting the proper treatment from a doctor who looks at the body holistically, not the mouth as an isolated topic.

While I am no longer in active practice, I am available for consultations. I can review your dental x-rays and help steer you on a path of care. To book a consult with me, click here.




























Schedule a ”30-Minute Free Consult” with me to answer some of your questions and determine if we are a good fit for a coaching program! CLICK HERE.


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A Chat With …
Dr. Alvin Danenberg & Dr. Steven Lin

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS  Nutritional Periodontist
January 22, 2018 [printfriendly]




Dental Nutrition, The Oral Microbiome, Vitamin K2, and the Gut w/ Dr. Al Danenberg from Steven Lin on Vimeo.


Dr. Steven Lin is a dentist from Australia. He is “setting the world on fire” with his fresh take on diet and dental disease. He wrote an excellent book, The Dental Diet, that was released in early January of this year. His book is much more than a diet book. Get the book; you will love it.


Steven and I have been sharing our thoughts and knowledge for over a year. We had a chat via Skype last Thursday. We talked about all kinds of things. It was like a fireside chat.  The major theme was how the gums may be the first warning sign of inflammation occurring in the rest of the body. Also, we talked about brushing and flossing, Vitamin K2, gums and the microbiome, and why bleeding gums and gum disease may have a common source – your gut.


Spend about 34 minutes, and watch us talk about “curing the world”.



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Just Give Me A Prescription and Be Done With It?

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
January 8, 2016 [printfriendly]



Just give me a prescription?So, your gums are bleeding. You think, “Just give me a prescription and be done with it.” Well, that may treat the immediate symptom of bleeding gums, but it hardly goes to the cause of the disease.


Just a prescription for an antibiotic may kill some of the offending bugs around your teeth that are causing the acute infection of bleeding gums. But, this medicine will also kill hundreds of species of beneficial bacteria in your mouth and thousands of species of beneficial bacteria in your gut – all of which you need for your body to function in a healthy state.


You need to realize that your bleeding gums are the result of various factors. Just like any manifestation of disease, you would be better served if you could determine the actual cause of the disease and correct it rather than just take a pill to only deal with the symptoms. Then, you might prevent the disease from coming back in the future.


Reducing the out-of-control bacteria may be the first treatment, but don’t forget that follow-up treatment is necessary to remove the underlying causes.


Still, you have bleeding gums. What can you do right away to stop it?

  • Essential oils have antimicrobial properties. A potent essential oil is oil of oregano. You could add two drops of oil of oregano to one teaspoon of coconut oil and swish this in your mouth for about a minute and then spit out. Do this four times a day for a week.
  • Sometimes a mouth rinse of diluted hydrogen peroxide (1.5% hydrogen peroxide) used four times a day for a period of one week could help reduce the inflammation. You could purchase 3% hydrogen peroxide at the drug store and dilute it (1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide to 1 teaspoon of filtered water). A commercially available product is alcohol-free Peroxyl by Colgate. This is an over-the-counter, 1.5% hydrogen peroxide solution that I have found to be effective for some of my patients. Be aware that the use of hydrogen peroxide for more than a week could increase the potential for a yeast infection and soft tissue damage.
  • Sometimes a prescribed antibiotic is necessary if the acute infection is aggressive. If you need to take an antibiotic, I would advise taking a probiotic along with it and continue taking it for several weeks thereafter. Probiotics help restore healthy bacteria in your gut and in your mouth. Eating live-culture fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi as well as unsweetened plain yogurt also will help support the good bacteria in your mouth and your body. (Peer-reviewed articles on probiotics and oral health: Here, Here, Here.)


But, this is critical:
It is important to see a dental professional who can diagnose gum diseases properly. In addition, in my opinion, this professional also needs to understand the intricate relationships between (1) nutrition and lifestyle factors and (2) other contributing factors resulting in your bleeding gums. Proper treatment in its proper sequence is important to rid you of the potentially health-damaging infection of gum disease.




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What Did You Say I Have?

        Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS       November 8, 2015


evolution r“What did you say I have? I brush my teeth everyday and floss when I can. Now you say I have gum disease that is eating away at my jawbone! How did this happen to me?”


You are not alone!


A study published in 2010 demonstrated that 93.9% of adults in the United States had some form of gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth.


Another study published in 2012 by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 47% of the US adult population has periodontitis (the advanced stage of gum disease that eats away at the jawbone). If you were over 65 years old, the prevalence of this advanced infection jumped to 70%. Wow!


Advanced gum disease typically does not hurt. The earlier stage of this disease, which is gingivitis, usually produces bleeding gums. But, if gingivitis progresses to the more advanced stage of periodontitis, the bleeding generally stops as the infection moves deeper under the gums to begin destroying the jawbone.


If left untreated, periodontitis will cause teeth to get loose. Teeth will become sore and painful to the touch. Chewing will become uncomfortable. Infection that is around the tooth root could be pushed into the blood system, affecting other areas of the body. These gum infections could also become severe in the mouth resulting in much swelling, bleeding, and odor. Once the structure of the jawbone is significantly destroyed, the only option would be to extract the teeth involved. In addition to mouth problems, gum disease has been associated with many other bodily conditions such as diabetes, pre-term and low-weight babies, heart disease, and many more.


There are many causes. The most common is bacteria that get under the gums around the teeth that thrive off of the sugars and refined carbohydrates we eat abundantly everyday. Another cause is the lack of efficient oral hygiene, which includes effective tooth and gum cleaning habits. Additional causes are the health of our digestive system, the nutrients that are in our foods, our stress level, and our genetic predisposition. Frequently, habits like gritting or grinding your teeth, even if you are not aware of this habit, could weaken the jawbone and result in further destruction.


You cannot change your genetics, but you can change the quality of foods you eat and your lifestyle, and you can learn to properly clean around your teeth and gums.


Those who read my blogs may know that I am a periodontist (gum specialist) with 41 years experience in treating patients with advanced gum disease. I also am licensed in the laser gum treatment called LANAP® (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure), which is patient-friendly and involves no cutting with scalpels and no stitches. I have found this to be the best way to treat advanced gum disease. In addition, I am a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner using this background to guide patients to a healthier diet and lifestyle. Some of my patients decide to complete a 3-Day Food Journal, which allows me to evaluate their eating and lifestyle habits and then to recommend healthier food and lifestyle choices.


I offer my patients a Lifestyle Repair Plan, in which I recommend an anti-inflammatory diet, selecting from a host of nutrient-dense foods. These are the foods that have a great deal of nutrients packed into each calorie. My Plan also incorporates changes in lifestyle that are critical for overall health. Included are concepts of health maintenance like Oral Care, Restorative Sleep, Efficient Exercise, and Stress Reduction – concepts that I have summarized into simple and doable steps.


My goal for my patients is to treat their active gum infections, teach them methods to maintain a healthy mouth, and assist them with eating and lifestyle changes that could lead not only to a healthier mouth for the rest of their lives but also to a healthier body.

My Gums are Bleeding and Sore

evolution rAbout a year ago I was asked to evaluate a patient who had bleeding gums, which was not responding to daily, good oral hygiene and had not responded to a deep cleaning by the hygienist in his dentist’s office.
This was a 71-year old gentleman who had ongoing gum issues for over 3 years. When I spoke to him, he did not complain of pain all the time, but he explained that his gums would bleed when he brushed his teeth and were a little sore. He wanted a quick fix like an antibiotic.
I told him we first needed to rule out infections and any blood diseases including serious diseases like cancers. As I questioned him, he told me that he had bouts of diarrhea and bloating. He also complained of acid reflux disease for which his medical doctor put him on an acid-reducing prescription. When I questioned him about his eating habits, he told me he had a healthy bowl of oatmeal every morning and usually some pasta dish with dinner. I suggested that some of his problem could come from the grains that he was eating.
He immediately dismissed my idea because he had been eating this way his entire life, and that obviously could not be at the cause of his gum sores. He left my office to seek other opinions.
Then several months later, I saw him again. He had seen an oral surgeon and then his own medical doctor who put him on anti-inflammatory prescription drugs. These meds did not resolve his bleeding gums. He finally allowed me to make my suggestions.
I had him fill out a 3-day food journal listing everything he ate. He also had to write down the frequency of his bowel movements and any exercise he participated in during these three days. When I reviewed his journal with him, we discovered he was eating some type of grain product with every meal as well as every snack. He also realized that he was eating very few green vegetables. Most of his drinks were laden with sugar.
I had him promise to do an experiment for 30 days. Since he had been suffering with bleeding, sore gums for several years, to experiment on himself for 30 days would not be too much to ask of him. He agreed, and here is what I recommended:
• Eliminate all grains – I described the foods that had grains and grain products, which had to be eliminated. I also gave him a list of foods that could be substituted for these grains and snacks. I even included some of my favorite recipes.
• Eliminate all sugary drinks – I recommended various drinks including regular water that he should be drinking.
• I suggested that he begin to take a nutrient-dense supplement of fermented cod liver oil capsules as well as organic kelp powder capsules every day. I gave him resources online where he could purchase them.
• I explained the benefits of coconut oil as an excellent mouthwash. He would place about 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil in is mouth and swish. At the end of 10 minutes, he would spit it out and rinse with water. He could do that several times a day if he wanted.
• Then, at the end of 30 days, he and I would get back together to see what happened.
To his astonishment, his bleeding gums were significantly better after 30 days – not healed yet, but much better. My further discussions with him were to include improving the bacteria in his gut and continuing to modify his diet to remove all offending items and replace what needed to be there. If necessary at a later date, I would suggest some functional testing to delve into specific cellular problems.