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    Gum disease signs

    Gum disease signs

    1 min read – Ben Atkins




    Gum disease is a very common condition which affects most adults in the UK at some point in their lives. If it is not treated, it can lead to losing one or more teeth. With helpful advice from your dental professional and regular at-home care, you can reduce your risk of gum disease affecting your mouth.  So how can you recognise the signs of gum disease and how can you avoid it?


    Summary list


    • Recognise the symptoms (E.g. swollen gums, sore gums and bad breath)
    • Take care of your teeth and gums at home to prevent dental problems
    • Reduce your risk of gum disease with healthy lifestyle
    • Regular dental check-ups are important
    Ben Atkins

    Ben Atkins

    President of the Oral Health Foundation

    What are the signs of gum disease?


    If your gums are healthy, they should be pink and firm and there should be no bleeding from them. If you have early gum disease you may find that your gums become red and swollen and they may bleed after you brush or floss your teeth. This condition is called gingivitis (early stage gum disease). Gum disease doesn’t always cause pain so it is really important to attend your dental check-ups, so your dental professional can spot any potential problems early on.


    What causes gum disease?


    The most common cause is a sticky coating of plaque either round or in between your teeth. If you are not brushing your teeth thoroughly and interdental cleaning regularly the bacteria in plaque irritates your gums, making them swollen, red and sore. The bacteria within plaque can also cause tooth decay. Other factors that can lead to gum disease include:


    • Smoking
    • Diabetes
    • Poor diet
    • Family history of gum disease
    • Weakened immune system
    • There is also a strong link between gum disease and heart problems

    It is important to follow healthy lifestyle advice to reduce your risk of general health problems and visit your GP for any stop smoking advice.

    What happens if I have gum disease?

    If you have the beginning stages of gum disease and it is not treated, it can start to affect the tissues that hold your teeth in place. This is called periodontitis or periodontal disease.  Symptoms of this can be bad breath, a nasty taste in your mouth and even loose teeth. At an advanced stage, swellings can occur under your teeth. When gum disease is present dental treatment may be recommended by your dental professional to treat your gums. This treatment will include tailored oral hygiene advice and in some cases deep gum cleaning may be required to help slow down progression of the disease.


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    Gum disease is a very common problem, affecting many people. It’s important that the signs of gum disease are spotted early to prevent it leading to far more serious issues, which could include tooth loss. Good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are the best form of prevention.

    Our five-step routine for a healthy smile

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