What does gum disease do, and what can you do to prevent and treat it?

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, as the name suggests, affects the tissue that supports your teeth. There are two stages of gum disease. In its earliest stage (known as gingivitis) you might notice your gums bleeding, or have bad breath.

If gingivitis isn’t treated it can lead to the second, more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Here, symptoms can include painful abscesses and receding gums. As small gaps appear between your teeth and the tissue that holds them in place, your teeth could become loose and even start to fall out.

What causes gum disease?

Generally, poor oral health causes gum disease but it’s not the only cause. Certain medicines, for example, are known to increase the likelihood of developing gum disease.

How do I prevent gum disease?


• Brush your teeth properly:
It may not be the most exciting solution, but there really is no better way of preventing gum disease (and lots of other dental conditions) than through good oral hygiene. That means not only brushing your teeth regularly, but brushing them properly – something too few of us do.

– Brush every surface of your teeth – front, back and the biting surfaces.
– Use the right amount of fluoride for you (ask us for details).
– Take 2 minutes to brush – use a stopwatch or egg-timer to help.
– 2 minutes of careful brushing is far better than a shorter period of vigorous brushing as that can damage tooth enamel.
– Spit out any excess toothpaste after brushing, but don’t rinse your mouth. Let the toothpaste do its job.
– Floss regularly to clean the areas between your teeth that brushing can’t reach.

• Visit your Winchester dentist: Visit us regularly at Oliver’s Battery Dental Surgery and we’ll check for any signs of gum disease.

What if I already have gum disease?

If you think you already have gum disease it’s important that you visit our Winchester dental surgery as soon as possible. We’ll carry out a thorough check-up, and if you’re showing early-stage signs of gingivitis we’ll help ensure the damage doesn’t get a chance to progress.

Make your appointment

Keep gum disease at bay. Visit your Winchester dentist and let us give you a healthier smile. You can make an appointment using the form on the right, or call us on 01962 877 877.