Gum Disease – Frequently asked questions

What is gum disease?

A condition where the gums become swollen and infected by bacteria from ineffective tooth cleaning. There are two main types, gingivitis and periodontitis.

What is Gingivitis?

An inflation of gum around a tooth or teeth. At this stage, gums look red and bleed when brushed.

What is periodontitis?

Gingivitis that hasn’t been treated. Periodontitis not only affects the gums but also the bone around teeth. It causes bone shrinkage which leads to tooth loss when untreated.

I clean my teeth every morning, why have I got gum disease?

For your mouth health to be at its best, teeth need to be thoroughly cleaned with a toothbrush for 2 minutes or longer. Between the teeth should be cleaned with floss.

Will I lose my teeth?

Gum disease can result in tooth loss, but regular twice yearly dental check ups prevent this and detect it when it’s early stages and completely treatable.

Have I got gum disease from smoking?

Yes, smoking is a major contributing factor in gum disease.

So stopping smoking will help my gum disease?

Yes, and also a renewed cleaning regime at home and regular visits to your dentist and hygienist.

My Mum had it so I was always going to get it wasn’t I?

No, gum disease is caused by inefficient oral hygiene.

Isn’t gum disease just a natural part of ageing?

No, not at all. With good oral hygiene regimes at home and regular dental check ups you need never to have it.

My gums bleed when I floss, so it’s not right for my gums?

The opposite, bleeding on flossing means it’s not being done enough. Correct flossing technique on healthy gums doesn’t cause bleeding. If you see blood whilst cleaning your teeth, you likely have gum disease.