"Bleeding gums should not be ignored" … You may have gum disease

Gum disease is a common disease which affects between fifteen and twenty percent of the world’s population. Unfortunately, in the United Kingdom, the number of people with this disease is much higher. In fact 3 out of every 4 adults over the age of 35, will have gum disease.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is often referred to as gingivitis or periodontal disease. You have the disease if your gums become swollen, sore or infected, and it is noticeable because it will cause your gums to bleed when you brush your teeth and you may even have bad breath. In severe cases of this disease, you may develop periodontitis, which affects the tissue around the tooth. This is the tissue that supports and holds the tooth into place. If this goes untreated it could result in the bone of your jaw decaying leaving small spaces open between the gum and teeth. This will lead to your teeth becoming loose and eventually falling out. Contrary to popular belief, gum disease not tooth decay is the biggest cause of tooth loss.

If your gums are healthy they will be a pink colour, firm and keep all your teeth securely in place. Your gums will not bleed if they are touched or brushed.

If you are worried about gum disease make an appointment with your Dentist. Initial signs of the disease are:

  • bleeding gums after you have flossed or brushed your teeth
  • swollen

Symptoms of periodontists (where the tissues that support the teeth are affected), will have even more severe symptoms such as:

  • loss of teeth (making it difficult to eat)
  • a bad taste in your mouth.
  • gum abscesses (this is a collection of pus that develops under your teeth or gums)

What is Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis?

A disease that is even more severe than gum disease and periodontitis is acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). ANUG is a rare condition with extremely severe symptoms which can develop very quickly and include:

  • painful ulcers
  • bleeding, painful gums
  • receding gums in between your teeth
  • bad breath
  • excessive saliva in your mouth
  • a metallic taste in your mouth
  • a difficulty in talking or swallowing

Gingivitis, or gum disease, is not always painful and therefore you may be unaware that you have it. This is the reason why it is so imperative that you have regular Dentist check-ups. If you are worried that you may have gum disease, periodontists or acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis, you should visit your Hull Dentist immediately. Leaving such a disease to develop with no treatment could lead to things getting worse so you need to speak to your hygiene therapist.