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What Is Gum Disease And How Does It Affect Me?

Gum disease is swelling of the gums and the structures that support your teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis.


Gingivitis is the swelling and redness of the part of your gum at the base of your teeth. Symptoms include bleeding gums when you brush, swollen gums, bad breath and receding gums.


Periodontitis can develop if gingivitis progresses without intervention. It damages the soft tissue and can destroy the bone that supports your teeth, resulting it tooth loss. Periodontitis is irreversible once it has resulted in bone loss so it is important that good oral hygiene is maintained to reduce the risk.

What Causes Gum Disease

Plaque forms on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that forms over the surface of your teeth composed mainly of bacteria. Plaque that isn’t removed through daily brushing remains on your teeth and hardens into tartar (calculus), which collects bacteria. Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove and causes irritation along the gum line. You will need to visit your dentist to remove the tartar. The plaque and tartar irritate your gum line, causing inflammation and bleeding. This is gingivitis, and if not treated, will progress into periodontitis which causes bone loss.

Preventing Gum Disease

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, spit after brushing, do not rinse.
  • Clean in between your teeth everyday using floss or interdental brushes.
  • See a dentist and dental hygienist for regular appointments.

If you require any further information or you would like to book a check-up with us to check for any symptoms of gum disease please call us on 01723 670500 or email us at

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