Understanding gum disease

Gum disease is the most common disease in the world, affecting a staggering nine of ten of adults. Despite being a common condition, very little is known about the cause and treatment of the disease which has been linked to other illnesses including alzheimer’s, cancer and strokes.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a buildup of plaque which contains bacteria. If left untreated, plaque can spread below the gum line. This can cause irritation your gums leaving you with a painful and sore mouth.

Spotting the symptoms and treatment

When you next brush your teeth spend some time looking at your gums. Healthy gums should be pink and firm and should not bleed when you touch, brush or floss them. As gum disease isn’t always linked to painful symptoms, you should always been vigilant to check your mouth regularly.

Main types of gum disease

Early symptoms, known as gingivitis can include red or swollen gums, or bleeding gums after brushing or flossing your teeth. If untreated, these symptoms can develop into periodontitis which can cause bad breath, a continuous bad taste on your mouth, gum abscesses and can even cause tooth loss.

In very rare cases, you can develop acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis which can develop suddenly. If you experience any of these symptoms you should make an appointment with your dentist; bleeding and painful gums, painful ulcers, receding gums, bad breath, difficulty swallowing or talking, and a high temperature.

Prevention is better than cure

You can keep mild cases of gum disease at bay by maintaining good levels of oral hygiene, this includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and attending regular dental check-ups.

We recommend visiting a dental hygienist at least every six months to check up on your dental health. A hygienist will be able to remove any hardened plaque, which can cause gum disease; they’ll also be able to show you to some great tips on how to clean your teeth properly in order to prevent gum disease.

Our practice owner Barry has worked in the dental industry for over 30 years and is happy to chat to any patient and answer questions you may have on gum disease. Get in touch with us - we’d love to hear from you.


About the author

Barry Tibbott

barry tibbot dental implants

Brunswick Court Dental Practice was established in 1986 as a private practice where Barry is the clinical director.

Involved in implants for many years, Barry has completed a Masters Degree in Implantology at Warwick University where he gained a distinction. He is currently a clinical lecturer to postgraduate MSc students at Warwick University, in addition to mentoring local dentists in this field.

Barry is a member and Implant Mentor for The Association of Dental Implantology and a fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine. He is also a Consultant Member of the British Society of Oral Implantology. You can find him on

Dentists Opening Hours:

Monday/Tuesday: 8:00 - 19:00

Wednesday: 8:30 - 17:30

Thursday: 8:00 - 19:00

Friday: 8:00 - 17:00

Saturday by request.


14 Brunswick Place
Hove, East Sussex, BN3 1NA

[email protected]