What is gum disease?

It's hard to believe that only 200 years ago, (according to old records from the UK), 'teeth' were listed as a leading cause of death. Thank goodness for the invention of the toothbrush and advances in dental healthcare! We take our freshly cleaned teeth for granted, brushing and (hopefully) flossing daily. We know this helps keep our teeth healthy and our breath fresh, but do we know why?

Brushing and flossing disturbs and removes plaque which builds up on the surface of our teeth. Plaque contains harmful bacteria that if left, can invade the gums and even the supporting bone! This is gum disease.

There are differing stages ranging from early-onset to advanced. If treated early, damage can be reversed. But left to its own devices, gum disease can worsen, affecting the stability of the teeth and it can lead to health problems like heart disease, diabetes or worse if you were born in the 1800s!

So how do we know if we have gum disease?

As bacteria attacks the gums, they can appear red, swollen or be tender. You may have noticed bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. Sometimes, your gums may bleed. If this happens – it might feel counterintuitive but do not stop brushing or flossing! That will only make things worse. Instead, carry on and make an appointment with your dentist.

If gum disease is left untreated it can worsen and cause irreversible damage. You may notice that your teeth look longer as your gums recede. Or you may even notice pus. Yes, you read that right, pus can escape from between the gum and tooth.

Regular trips to the dentist can spot early onset gum problems and regular professional cleaning by the hygienist will help to keep those teeth and gums strong. Using floss or Pikster brushes is really important because brushing alone can't reach in-between the teeth.

If you are worried about gum disease, you can make an appointment for a chat and check-up and we will have you on the way to healthier teeth and gums in no time! You can book online here, send us an email at or give us a ring on 07 3254 3222.