Gum disease (Gingivitis) is a condition which causes your gums to become red, inflamed and swollen. It can cause your gums to bleed when you brush your teeth.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Gum disease may not show any symptoms until the advanced stages, however – the following symptoms can be an early indication of gum disease developing.
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Bleeding in the mouth – Especially during brushing, flossing, eating
- Persistent bad breath
- Mouth sores
- Receding gum line (exposing the roots of the teeth)
- Separating or loose teeth
- Pus seeping from gums
- A change in your bite (how your teeth meet together)
What causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is normally caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance made up of bacteria, which is usually removed when you brush your teeth. However, if plaque is left to build up on your teeth, the bacteria will release toxins which can irritate your gums, causing you pain and discomfort.
How do I prevent Gum Disease?
One of the best ways to treat gingivitis is to practice good oral hygiene, by following these three simple steps:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day (in the morning and last thing at night)
- Flossing daily
- Not smoking
If possible, it is best to use an electric toothbrush to clean your teeth. You should also try using fluoride toothpaste if your water supply is low in fluoride. Fluoride is a natural mineral, which helps to strengthen your tooth enamel, protecting it from tooth decay.
To make sure that plaque and tartar do not build up on your teeth it is advisable to visit a dentist so that your teeth can be scaled and polished. This procedure involves having plaque and tartar scraped away with a special instrument, before being polished to remove blemishes and stains. Please visit our hygiene page for more information.
About Hereford’s Specialist Periodontal Dentist – Cliff Nissen
Clifford graduated from the University of Newcastle in 1981. After appointments in general dental practice and various university and hospital dental departments, including twelve months in the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery department of a general hospital, he lectured in Periodontology and Preventive Dentistry at the University of Dundee for six years. Between 1993 and 2000 Cliff ran his own private practice in Heidelberg, Germany, and provided specialist periodontal and implant services to a number of private practices in Heidelberg and Munich, Germany.
In 2001 he returned to the U.K. and now limits his practice to periodontology and implantology, with a special interest in bone regeneration and the management of complex cases.