How do I know if I have gum disease?
Gum disease is a very common condition where the gums become swollen, sore or infected.
If you have gum disease, your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and you may have bad breath. This 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, you will get bone loss around the teeth. Your teeth can become loose and may eventually fall out.
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria, which forms when you eat and drink.
Some bacteria in plaque are harmless, but some are very harmful for the health of your gums. If you do not remove plaque from your teeth by brushing them, it will build up and irritate your gums, leading to redness, swelling and soreness.
You should make an appointment to see your dentist if your gums are painful, swollen or if they bleed when you brush your teeth.
Your dentist can carry out a thorough dental examination to check the health of your gums.
In some cases, a number of X-rays may be needed to check the condition of your teeth and bone levels.