Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease is the name given to a wide set of conditions which effect the structures supporting your teeth, it can cause inflammation and swelling of the gums.

In extreme cases cause damage to the bone and ligaments that hold your pearly whites in place and lead to loss of teeth.
gum disease


The least severe form of gum disease, gingivitis is most commonly caused by plaque build-up on your teeth which has irritated your gums. This occurs when plaque has not been regularly cleared from your teeth and has gotten under your gums.

This can aggravate your gums and they become red, swollen and can bleed when you brush your teeth. Good and regular cleaning can clear the problem up but neglected it can lead to more serious problems.


This is the next stage on from gingivitis, the inflammation can spread to the ligaments and bones holding your teeth in place.

The gums may begin to pull away from the teeth leaving behind exposed pockets into which more plaque forms which then can not be reached with brushing alone. Over time the plaque will become harder and turns into tartar which can cause further inflammation and infection which over time can lead to abscesses under the gums.

It can reveal the roots of the teeth making them extremely sensitive and eventually this can lead to tooth loss. Caught early on enough it can be dealt with however it can often not be fully cured. You will then be in the maintenance phase.

Symptoms of gum disease

Gum disease is not always painful meaning you may not know you have it. For that reason it is important to attend regular check-ups with your dental practitioner and take care of good oral hygiene at all times. It is also recommended to be attentive with your teeth and look out for some of the tell-tale signs of the onset of gum disease.

The first signs of gingivitis are:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth or eat hard foods
  • Red and swollen gums.

If this has progressed on to periodontitis then you may have:

  • Bad breath (halitosis).
  • A bad taste in your mouth.
  • Gum recession and sensitivity.
  • Wobbly or loose teeth.
  • Gum abscesses.

The symptoms of advanced gum disease known as acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) can include:

  • Very painful bleeding ulcers.
  • Bad breath.
  • A metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Difficulty swallowing or talking.
  • General bad health.
  • Tooth loss.
  • Excess saliva in the mouth.

Treatment of gum disease.

The procedure you go through will depend upon the seriousness of the gum disease you are experiencing.

Bow lane dental are dentists in London and have an in-house gum specialist (periodontist) and five hygienists who work with you to enhance your dental health and wellness and minimising the effect of your gum disease. This article is supported by them and they always want to get across the important of healthy gums.

Professional cleaning

In the case of gingivitis your dental professional will extensively clean your teeth above and below your gums. This is sometimes called a “scale and polish” treatment. Plaque and tartar will be removed from your teeth and gums frequently using an ultrasonic cleaning device which cleanses your teeth far more efficiently than any toothbrush could. In the event of more major issues such as periodontitis extra treatment method can be required and it could mean several appointments to perform what is called root planing. This may require a local anaesthetic gel massaged into the gums beforehand or even injection. A course of antibiotics can also be required in some scenarios.

Gum surgery

If your gum disease is serious you may need gum surgery, at Bow Lane Dental our gum professional can perform such procedures if they become necessary.
Prevention is the best cure.

Bow Lane Dental always promote good oral health and hygiene. Always keeping your teeth clean and having regular check ups with your dentist can stop the onset of gum disease and other dental health issues from ever occurring. If you do have these symptoms and require an emergency dentist in London within 24 hours then please contact our friendly dental health team.

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