Periodontitis (gum disease)

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxin, which damage the gums.

These bacteria may cause the gums to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. However, please be aware that with periodontal disease, bleeding, redness and swelling do not have to be present. Pain is usually not associated with periodontal disease. This disease damages the teeth, gum and jawbone of many patients living in the UK.

<strong>You may even be surprised at some of the facts about gum disease. For example did you know….?</strong>

  • Gum disease is extremely common and affects 3 out of every 4 adults over the age of 35 in the UK.
  • The main symptoms of gum disease are sore, bleeding gums during tooth brushing.
  • Gum disease, not tooth decay, is the biggest cause of tooth loss.
  • Only 60% of women in the UK aged 45 can claim to have all their own teeth.
  • Gum disease isn’t just something that happens later in life, more than half of teenagers have some form of gum disease.
  • Smoking causes 50% of all cases of gum disease in the UK.


Periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation of the gum tissue, presence of disease-causing bacteria, and infection above and below the gum line. Infections and bacteria in the mouth can spread throughout the body and lead to a host of problematic health issues. Therefore, maintaining excellent oral hygiene and reducing the progression of periodontal disease through treatment will have benefits beyond preventing gum disease and bone loss. It can also save you from the chance of developing another serious condition.
Research has recently proven that there is a strong connection between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.

What are the signs?

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