Signs of gum disease (periodontitis)

What is it?

Gum disease is the response to plaque and bacteria build up on your teeth, causing inflammation of the gum tissues. Periodontal disease follows on from gum disease, where this build up in bacteria causes the tooth structures, both surrounding bone and ligament, to weaken and eventually dissolve, causing teeth to fall out.


The most common signs of gum disease are swollen and bleeding gums. The symptoms do depend on the severity of the condition, however, they can also be masked, particularly with people who smoke as there is a compromised blood supply. Some other things to look out for are:

  • Redness
  • Painful gums
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth loosening
  • Difficulty to chew
  • Bad taste in mouth

Chronic and acute forms of the disease do exist, however, the chronic type is more prevalent as in a lot of cases, the symptoms do not present themselves until the disease has largely advanced. It is important to maintain regular check ups with your dentist, as well as daily oral hygiene, to be able to achieve an early diagnosis.


Gum disease needs to be controlled by good oral hygiene. Brushing twice daily and flossing at least once daily will help to prevent the disease from progressing and regular dentist check ups are also recommended to help control the condition. If your dentist feels the disease is advanced and you need further treatment, you may be referred to specialist periodontist for further advice.


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