Gum Disease: Causes and Treatment

Dental Health Advice

Gum disease is a common bacterial infection which originates from gingivitis which means inflammation of the gums. The gums become extremely red and swollen; common symptoms including bleeding gums, bad breath, and ongoing pain.

Long-term gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are several kinds of periodontal disease, and they all affect the tissue surrounding the teeth. As the disease progresses, the bone around the teeth is lost within the jaw which loosens the teeth to make them fall out. Which is why a comprehensive dental hygiene routine is essential.

Causes of Gum Disease

Oral Hygiene

Key symptoms of gum disease are bleeding gums when brushing or eating, as well as a bad smell and taste in your mouth.

Poor oral hygiene is often the main cause for gum disease due to plaque forming around the teeth. As plaque increases, the bacteria results in tooth decay if the teeth and gums are not appropriately cleaned.

This can lead to tartar, which is a hardened form of the plaque caused by precipitation of saliva and gingival crevicular fluid on the surface of the teeth.


Smoking is perhaps one of the most environmental risk factors for gum disease. Due to the gums receiving lack of oxygen within the body’s bloodstream, they will not heal the infection. Therefore, the build-up of dental plaque will worsen much quicker than non-smokers.

Treatment and Prevention of Gum Disease

Cleaning your teeth with the correct toothpaste with the right amount of fluoride, which is a natural mineral that protects your teeth against tooth decay will reduce the likelihood of gum disease. Alongside this, cleaning your teeth twice a day for about two to three minutes, and flossing daily before brushing your teeth will get rid of any hidden plaque.

Make sure that you visit your dentist at least twice a year. This way, you get your regular check-ups, treatment, and advice to keep your gums happy and clean.

Dental Treatments

Depending on the severity of your gum disease there are various treatments that can be done.

  • Scaling and polishing your teeth. A professional clean to scrape away plaque and tartar using the correct dental equipment; then polishing your teeth to remove any staining.
  • Root planing (debridement). A deep clean underneath the gums which gets rid of bacteria from the roots of your teeth (may need a local anaesthetic and might be given antibiotics).
  • If you suffer from severe gum disease, then you may need periodontal surgery – may need affected tooth removed (may be given antibiotics).

Need an Emergency Appointment

Contact the 247 Dentist to book an emergency dental appointment. We offer ‘out of hours’ appointments and times on weekends and bank holidays to keep your mouth safe and healthy.

Call for an emergency dentist appointment: 02392 355 553. For general dentistry, please visit Smilemakers and book your next dental health check-up.

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