Wellness Tips | 22 September, 2020

What is gum disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can be hard to diagnose on your own. Much of the time, it goes unnoticed with little pain and few symptoms until it reaches a severe stage.

Periodontal disease affects the area around the teeth, progressively destroying soft tissues and bone. Ultimately, the teeth can become loose and fall out, or need to be taken out. An early form of periodontal disease is referred to as gingivitis, while more severe cases are referred to as periodontitis. It’s important to consult with your dentist or hygienist in order to determine whether you are suffering from periodontal disease, as well as how far along in the disease process you may be.  


Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum caused by plaque build-up on the teeth. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease, however it is also the most common. Symptoms include redness and swelling around the gum margins, and bleeding when brushing or flossing. If your gums are red and irritated rather than pink and firm, you might be suffering from gingivitis. The good news is, treatment for gingivitis can be simple and straightforward, when detected early on. Professional teeth cleaning with one of our dental professionals paired with an improved home oral care routine can successfully manage gingivitis and restore gums back to health.


Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease and usually found in adults. Not only does it affect the gums around the teeth, but also the bone and other supporting tissues within the mouth and jaws. Periodontitis causes the gum to pull away from the teeth leaving deep pockets that trap bacteria, further advancing the destruction and causing the teeth to loosen. If the condition is left untreated it can result in tooth loss. The complexity of treatment will depend on the severity of the disease. While the damage that has already been made cannot be undone, we can, with consistent oral care and careful treatment, stop it from progressing any further.

Symptoms to look out for

  • Inflamed, irritated or red gums
  • Bleeding from the gums when brushing or flossing
  • Consistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • Changes in the way your teeth meet on biting or movement of the teeth

How to prevent gum disease

While some people are more prone to gum disease than others, the way in which to prevent onset remains the same. Risk factors include smoking, stress and poor nutrition. Some medications and hormonal changes can also influence your gum health. You should be sure to:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste
  • Floss daily between your teeth
  • Drink fluoridated tap water after each meal
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for maintenance

For more information on gum disease, make an appointment to see one of our highly skilled and dedicated Clinicians.