Gum disease details

Debbie Knowles is a most thorough, empathic and gentle dental hygienist who brings a wealth of experience to the practice.

Brushing your teeth effectively is greatly affected by both technique and time spent brushing.  Over time, we develop an individual brushing pattern that is stuck to every time we brush. If you have never been given specific home-care instructions for effective tooth brushing, then the same tooth surfaces will always be left uncleaned, allowing plaque to accumulate. we will spend the time to help you to get this right.

Good gum health has been shown to have a direct effect on your overall good health and poor gum health has been linked with circulatory diseases, strokes, diabetes and arthritis amongst others.

Advanced gum disease, also called periodontitis, also develops where the gums join the teeth, but at a deeper level due to more aggressive microbes.  If left untreated it can destroys the supporting structures that anchor the teeth, resulting in gum recession and tooth loss.

gum disease

Symptoms may include red, swollen and bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, and tooth sensitivity. Ask us about gum disease if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Key Facts

  • Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection often characterized by red, swollen gums that may bleed easily
  • Periodontal disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults
  • More than half the population have some form of periodontal disease
  • Periodontal disease can be painless and may go undetected
  • Oral health plays an important role in total body health
  • Early detection of periodontal disease is critical to maintaining overall health.
  • Regular dental hygiene visits and periodontal assessments are key for high-quality oral care and your overall health


From The British Society of Periodontology website:

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease affects the gums, bone and other supporting tissues of the teeth. Although most individuals suffer gum inflammation from time to time, around 10% of the population appear to suffer from the more severe forms of the disease which cause loss of supporting bone. This group appears to be at greatest risk of losing teeth through periodontal disease. It is caused by the bacteria which regularly collect on the teeth.

Why do some people suffer from this problem and not others?

Around 10% of the population is susceptible. Our knowledge is improving all the time of why this is, although 3 major factors are thought to be responsible. Family history, stress and smoking are all important risk factors. Stopping smoking is an important part of reducing the risk of developing the disease. Certain general diseases such as diabetes may also make an indivdual more susceptible.

How do I know if I have the disease?

The signs and symptoms of periodontal disease are extremely variable but may include gums that bleed on brushing together with signs of more advanced disease such as mobility or drifting of the teeth. However, it is possible to have the disease and not be aware of these signs. It is essential to attend a general dental practitioner regularly so that special assessment techniques, sometimes including x-rays, can be carried out as part of your routine dental examinations.

What should I do if I think I might have the disease?

Regular dental examinations by a general dental practitioner will ensure that a correct diagnosis is made. The dentist will then be able to advise you on any necessary treatment. This will often include instruction in specific oral hygiene methods to help you control the bacteria that collect on your teeth. There may also be a need to carry out some professional cleaning of your teeth. Most cases of periodontal disease can be successfully treated by your dentist using methods such as these. Occasionally, more complex treatments are required and your dentist will advise you accordingly.