• Free Call 02 9344 8822
  • Address

    Maroubra Clinic

    Maroubra Dental Clinic

    Office 1, 822 Anzac Parade
    Maroubra, NSW, 2035

    Parramatta Clinic

    Parramatta Dental Clinic

    The Hall, 356 Church Street
    (Corner of Church and Palmer St)
    Parramatta, NSW, 2150

  • Opening Hours
    • Mon to Thurs - 8am – 6pm
    • Fri 8am – 5pm
    • Sat 8am – 2pm
    • Sunday Closed

Gum / Periodontal Disease

Your gums play an important role in dental health and without proper care and maintenance, periodontal or gum disease can take hold and lead to severe outcomes such as loss of teeth and loss of bone. It is an inflammatory disease that affects the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth and is a major cause of tooth loss and bone loss.

Periodontal disease ranges in forms from mild such as gingivitis – an inflammation of the gums leading to plaque and tartar build up – to the more advanced and chronic forms which can lead to major soft tissue loss and tooth loss. It can often begin painlessly and without many noticeable symptoms. In fact, symptoms may not even occur until the advanced stage of the disease. Identification of gum disease is difficult as symptoms often do not include pain and so it is vital to pay close attention to any changes in visuals and feeling in your gums. Maintain good oral hygiene and regular consulting with your dentist to establish a healthy strategy for avoiding this disease. Early detection is an important safeguard against gum disease.

Everyday food can get trapped in and around our teeth where gums meet the teeth. Without brushing or flossing this can lead to a build-up of bacteria (plaque) which then hardens and becomes tartar. As plaque and tartar advances, it can lead to decay in the tooth or inflammation of the gums above and below the gum line. The gums become swollen and can bleed easily with brushing and flossing. If left untreated gum disease can lead to the gums receding and “pulling” away from the teeth creating pockets around them, which become a breeding ground for bacteria. As your body fights the ‘bad’ bacteria with ‘good bacteria’, it may inadvertently attack the good connective tissue and bone that supports the teeth, keeping them in place.

The four main signs of gum disease are

  • Inflamed and bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Bad breath

Other complicating factors such as poor oral health, poor diet and smoking can quicken the advance of gum disease. If you suffer from any of the above, we urge you to make an appointment as soon as possible with one of our dentists to assess your oral health and create a treatment plan to help you get back on track.

Gum / Periodontal Disease Faqs

Gum disease is never really cured but the disease can be slowed and stopped so long as you keep up good oral hygiene at home and regular dental check-ups.

Smoking restricts the normal blood flow to the gums masking the early warning signs of gum disease.  Bleeding is an early warning sign of gum disease; however, smoking restricts the blood flow to the gums so if you smoke this may not happen.

If your teeth appear to be getting longer in the gums as if the gum around them were ‘receding’ then we suggest booking an appointment. Gum recession is the loss of tissue around the tooth which exposes the tooth bed and possibly the root of the tooth. This leaves the tooth in more danger of being exposed to bacteria, and therefore tartar and plaque which leads to decay and possible loss of the tooth. It can also cause aesthetic problems and tooth sensitivity. If the recession is severe, treatment options such as deep cleaning can be done to allow all of the plaque and tartar around the tooth to be removed, and the gums to reattach and heal tightly around the tooth again.

Gums that bleed or ache especially after brushing can be a sign of gum disease. Healthy gums do not generally bleed when brushing and flossing, so it is important to continue these practices to prevent the build-up of bacteria from food, which can lead to plaque and tartar. Some people think that when their gums bleed from flossing and brushing they should stop these practices. In fact, the opposite is recommended! If you do not floss or brush the build-up can get even worse so it is important to keep doing so gently and hopefully the bleeding ceases. We would recommend you schedule an appointment at the first signs of gum disease just to be safe.

Having excellent oral hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly can help prevent gum disease. Quit smoking if you currently smoke.

“Gum disease” describes a range of conditions that affect the supporting tissues for the teeth. The supporting tissues comprise both the surface tissues that can be seen in the mouth and also the deeper tissues of the bone, root surface and the ligament that connects the teeth to the bone.

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria. Bacteria form a ‘plaque’ which is a sticky, colourless film that forms on your teeth, particularly around the gum line. Other bacteria thrive deep in the gap between the gum and the tooth (the ‘pocket’). Some people are much more at risk of developing periodontal disease — smoking is one of the major risk factors. Other conditions such as diabetes, stress, pregnancy and various medications can all be contributing factors.

Yes. In the vast majority of cases the progression of gum disease can be arrested with appropriate care. Management of gum disease becomes more difficult and less predictable the more advanced the disease. Therefore, the sooner periodontitis is diagnosed and treated the better. Regular dental examinations are important to check for the presence of gum disease.

No. Bleeding gums are common but not OK. Healthy gums do not bleed. Bleeding is often an indication that the gums are inflamed. The inflammation is generally a response to the bacteria on the surface of the teeth. The bleeding may also arise from Periodontitis or traumatic cleaning. Bleeding gums are sometimes associated with serious medical conditions.

If you have bleeding gums you should get a dental check up.

Anyone. Many people will have a small amount of periodontitis, which gradually increases with age. However approximately 15% of the population will have a significant degree of periodontitis. The destruction of the tooth’s supporting tissues caused by periodontitis gets worse over time when left untreated, and is often seen more severely in the 45+ age group. However the different types of periodontitis may affect people of all ages. The risk for periodontitis is increased with poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, a family history of periodontitis and a range of medical conditions, in particular those affecting the immune system.

What are some of the warning signs of periodontal disease?

  • Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth.
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
  • Receding gums.
  • Sensitive teeth or gums.
  • Loose teeth or teeth that have moved.

Related Services

Maintenance Check-Ups

Custom Fitted Mouthguard

Preventative Care

Client Reviews