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Symptoms of gum disease

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gum disease and dental implantsGum Disease (Gingivitis & Periodontitis): Symptoms Leading to Tooth Loss

Want to know what’s really going on with your oral health? Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of your gum tissues, which hold your teeth securely in place.

We understand here at the Gentle Dental that some patients may have developed poor oral habits like not flossing or perhaps smoke or eat the wrong foods.

Gum disease is very common and completed reversible.  Periodontitis is a severe gum infection.

The problem

Gum disease causes the gums to shrink (receding gums). This in turn allows bacteria to attach the bone holding the tooth in place.

Less gum, less bone are the most common problems when wanting to have dental implants. Implants fitted into a mouth that has gum disease could ultimately fall out.

The symptoms of gum disease can contribute to tooth loss and other negative general health consequences.

As implantologists and periodontists, we aim to work quickly to restore your gums back to health and replace any teeth lost to the disease.

Before an implant can be placed and often before any cosmetic dental procedure it is important to have healthy gums.

For immediate help call 020 8224 7562.

getting rid of gum disease

How to tell if you have gum disease?

Are your gums swollen, sore or infected? If you press with your fingertips do they hurt. Are your gums showing patches of white as opposed to a healthy red?

What are the symptoms?

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath and taste in the mouth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Loose, wobbly or missing teeth
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gums
  • Deep pockets between teeth and gums

Think you have gum disease? Get in touch right now.

The early warning signs of periodontal disease

  • Bright red gums
  • Gums that are painful to the touch
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Soft or puffy gums


Do you think you might have gum disease?

Assess yourself right now by taking this short quiz to see if you require the attention of a dentist. Please note your age, diet and gender also play a role, so please take this quiz with a pinch of salt!

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How quickly does gum disease develop?

There are four different stages of periodontal disease:

Gingivitis: The earliest stage

Of all the stages, gingivitis will be the easiest to treat as it’s still non-destructive.

This is because in the beginning it only affects the gingival, which is the part of the gums which surround the base of the lower and upper teeth.

Therefore, gingivitis results in the inflammation of the gingival, which causes swollen and sore symptoms.

It also makes the gums prone to bleeding.

flossing for gum disease

Slight periodontal disease

During the initial gingivitis stages, gum inflammation often occurs within five days making gum disease fast-acting.

Soon, within just a few weeks, generalised gingivitis becomes more noticeable.

It is during this stage that your gums begin to pull away and recede away from your teeth.

This often causes a lot of worry for patients who are left with tiny pockets, sometimes referred to as black triangles (spaces) that form between the teeth and affected gums.

More harmful bacteria invade these areas, which make them more prone to bleeding.

gum disease symptomsModerate periodontal disease

During the third stage, patients can expect further bleeding and gum recession.

As more and more gum tissue begins to die, teeth lose their essential support and can begin to move.

Sometimes the infection can result in whole-body inflammatory responses. More.

Advanced periodontal disease

Ultimately, this is the worst of all the gum disease stages. This is because it causes the most destruction to your gums and bones.

The tissues that hold and connect teeth together begin to deteriorate and patients are likely to experience severe pain and bad breath.

It is at this point that you are likely to lose your teeth.

We advise that you do not let your gum disease progress. Otherwise,  you will be at high risk of losing your natural teeth. So, if you’ve noticed any swelling, it’s time to visit the dentist. We also advise using special toothpaste and mouthwashes to help stop early gum disease in its tracks.

Can gum disease be cured?

dental hygienist to get rid of gum disease
Niloufar Ghavami: Dental Hygienist

The main goal of treating periodontitis will be to control the infection.

There are various treatment methods and which will be used will depend on the extent of the problem.

Using periodontic treatments to diffuse the problem, our gum disease treatments are designed to promote the reattachment of healthy gums to teeth, reduce swelling and depth of pockets, which reduces the risk of infection and stops the disease from further progressing.

Any treatment we complete will require further and additional maintenance at home.

Patients may be required to change certain behaviours, like smoking in a way to improve treatment results.

Unfortunately, once the disease progresses and has reached peridontitis level, it will not be able to be cured, just treated. This is because once gums have receded they do not and cannot grow back. See help.

Ask the dentist about laser periodontal therapy.

Helpful tips for patients in the meantime:

  • Brush teeth twice a day using soft-bristled brushes
  • Replace toothbrushes every three months
  • Consider a good electric toothbrush
  • Floss after every meal to remove plaque
  • Floss and use interdental brushes between your teeth
  • Use fluoride toothpaste
  • Use a mouthwash recommended by your dentist, try and keep it in your mouth for longer
  • Make regular hygienist appointments
  • Quit smoking

What happens when you come to to see our dentists

Our diagnosis process:

  1. First, one of our expert dentists like Dr Ali Rifai will examine your gums and note down any signs of any inflammation present.
  2. Using a tiny ruler we will measure pockets in the teeth. Healthy mouths usually have 1-3 millimetre pocket depth, anything more than this will signify significant change or movement. This test is completely painless and very fast.
  3. We may take x-rays to show you gum and bone loss.
  4. We’ll go through your medical history to identify any conditions which might cause any risks, for example, smoking or diabetes as these can contribute to gum disease.
  5. Further to this, we might take x-rays to see if any bone loss is present, if so, this would signify an advanced level of gum disease, which may require further advanced care like Laser Gum Surgery.

Book your appointment.

Get in touch

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Mrs Charlton


Fantastic Dentist, I haven't stopped recommending their care, skill and professionalism. The opening times and appointment availability is…

Georgie Sherrard

Dr Ali and his team created a Hollywood smile for me. I am absolutely thrilled. I had horrid…

Caroline Mitchell

I have been a patient of Dr Ali Rifai at The Gentle Dental Practice for a while now…

Jason Hamilton

I am completely delighted with the results of my Invisalign treatment. Thank you so much Ali for all…

Judith Pain

Dr Rifai and his staff have been looking after my mother for several years, she's in her 90s…

Paul Bennett

I had a tooth filling with Ali at The Gentle Dental Practice recently. The finished filling is amazing…

Joshua Beth

I have recently been coming here to have work on my teeth and I’ve enjoyed every moment of…

Kane Sharman

What an amazing dental practice. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Dr Ali is great and understanding. I…

Ria Winstanley

Ali is an excellent dentist. He also cares very much for patient well being. Ali also went beyond…

lisa clark

Did a great job of straightening my teeth with invisalign treatment!

James Crisp

Amazing service! You can have a crown made whilst you wait, and no more horrible moulds!! Highly recommend…

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I visited The practice for the first time yesterday and had emergency dental treatment. Ali was absolutely brilliant…

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