What does it mean when my dentist says I have gum disease?

Gum disease is described as swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Most adults in the UK have gum disease to some degree, and most people experience it at least once. It's much less common in children.If you have gum disease, your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and you may have bad breath. This early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis.

If gingivitis is not treated, a condition called periodontitis can develop. This affects the tissues that support teeth and hold them in place.

If periodontitis is not treated, the bone in your jaw may be damaged and small spaces can open up between the gum and teeth. 

Your teeth can become loose and may eventually fall out.


What causes gum disease?

All gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to be the main cause of gum disease. v

To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and cleaning in between the teeth with ‘interdental' brushes or floss.

How do I know if i have gum disease?

To know immediately, we recommend you make an appointment at Edgware Dental Pratice, where we will check your gum health

Be aware and look out for the following signs:

  1. Red, or swollen gums
  2. Bleeding gums
  3. Bad taste
  4. Bad breath
  5. Gum shrinkage
  6. Loose teeth
  7. Teeth drifting apart

How can I treat gum disease?

At Edgware Dental Practice we are very focused on prevention and so the first stage of treatment will involve showing you how to correctly clean your teeth. 

The second stage will involve cleaning away the dead bacteria (calculus/tartar) away from your teeth. This may involve one or several sessions depending on the severity of the disease.

You will then be monitored thereafter and put on a maintence plan to acheive optimum gum health going foward.

Are some people more at risk of losing their teeth than others?



Smokers  are 8 x more likley to lose their teeth through gum disease


In recent years gum disease has been linked with general health conditions such as diabetes, strokes, cardiovascular disease, poor pregnancy outcomes and even dementia.


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