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Bleeding Gums & Periodontal Gum Disease

Healthy gums are a vital part of oral health. Just like our teeth, gums need regular care and attention to keep them healthy and clean. Gum disease can cause serious issues for your overall health, so it is important to know the signs.



What is gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque (clear, sticky bacteria) around the teeth and gums. If the plaque is not removed property, the plaque hardens, forming a substance called calculus or tartar, that can further irritate the gum. Eventually, if the gums are left untreated, the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth can be affected.

Your dentist will monitor your gum health as part of your routine check up and clean. We measure the pockets between each tooth and gum to check if your gums have receded since your last visit.

Know the signs of gum disease

Gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common among adults. Other factors like smoking, certain health conditions and some medications may put you at higher risk of developing gum disease. Knowing the signs of gum disease can help you to understand when to ask your dentist for help. Some of the symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red, puffy, swollen or sore gums

  • Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing

  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth

  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

  • Signs of infection between your teeth and gums including pain or discharge

  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

If detected early, gum disease can be improved. Without intervention, gum disease can progress to cause serious issues. In severe cases, the teeth can become loose, fall out or need to be removed.

Treatment for gum disease

Gum disease progresses in stages. Your dentist can advise you on suitable treatment depending on your situation and gum health. Generally, the treatment for each stage is as follows:

Stage 1: Gingivitis

  • Gums are mildly inflamed, appear red or swollen and bleed during brushing.

  • A scale and clean can remove any plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar.

  • Your dentist will advise how you can improve your gum health with daily brushing and flossing.

Stage 2-3: Early to moderate periodontal disease

  • Gums begin to separate and recede from the teeth.

  • Plaque may have moved toward the teeth roots, supporting fibres and bone.

  • You may need an advanced procedure to clean plaque deposits under the gumline.

Stage 4: Advanced periodontal disease

  • The connective tissues that hold the teeth in place are severely affected.

  • Bone support may be destroyed.

  • Teeth may become loose and need to be removed.  

  • You may need oral surgery to regenerate lost bone and replace missing teeth.

How to prevent gum disease

Prevention and early detection are the best cures for gum disease. Remember that bleeding gums are a sign that your gums need extra attention. Ask your dentist for advice on brushing and flossing techniques and keep to your regular dental check ups to ensure any plaque build up around the gumline can be removed.