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Gum Awareness

Gum Awareness

Gum disease is a very common condition that affects up to 83% of adults**. It is caused by plaque, the sticky film that builds up on teeth throughout the day and contains millions of bacteria. If the plaque isn’t thoroughly removed through brushing and flossing twice a day the bacteria can irritate the gums, causing them to become swollen, sore or infected.

If this is not treated then the gum can start to come away from the tooth, allowing pockets to form and the bacteria can go beyond the gumline and start to affect the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Eventually, the bone in your jaw can be damaged and teeth can become wobbly and fall out.


Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, is the inflammation of the gums and may lead to red, sore or bleeding gums.
Periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease, is the bacterial infection of the gums, ligaments and bone surrounding your teeth.


What are the 5 main symptoms of gum disease?

  • Tender or bleeding gums

    Tender or bleeding gums

    Caused by plaque bacteria, a sticky film that constantly build up around the teeth and gums, on and in between your teeth and if not removed can lead to irritated, bleeding gums and when brushing or flossing.

  • Bad Breath

    Bad breath

    As plaque breaks down pieces of food in your mouth, it may release an unpleasant smelling gas leading to bad breath.

  • Red or swollen gums

    Red or swollen gums

    A build up of plaque can cause irritated gums which may appear red and swollen.

  • Loost teeth

    Loose teeth

    The supporting structures of the teeth, including the surrounding bone, can be destroyed if the development of periodontal inflammation is not treated,. The teeth eventually loosen and are lost.

  • Long appearing teeth

    Long appearing teeth

    Gum recession is when your gums around you teeth draw back, exposing the root beneath. Increased tooth sensitivity can be one of the first signs as well as your teeth looking longer than normal.

Who is at risk of gum disease?

1 2 3 4 5 6

1 Diabetes

Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and gum disease goes both ways – gum disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar and diabetics are more likely to develop gum disease. People with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease than people without diabetes, probably because they are more prone to infections. In fact, gum disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Diabetics who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk of gum disease and diabetic complications. Gum disease will increase the risk for those complications.

2 Smoking

People who smoke may get gum disease due to the build-up of bacterial plaque. The gums are affected because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so the infected gums do not heal. Smoking causes people to have more dental plaque and causes gum disease to get worse more quickly than in non-smokers. Gum disease is still the most common cause of tooth loss in adults (Oral Health Foundation).

3 High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure medication may cause overgrowth of the gums in some individuals. The enlarged and misshapen gums make effective tooth cleaning impossible and enable plaque to accumulate. This results in inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which may progress to the destruction of the tooth-supporting tissues (periodontitis) and possible tooth loss.

4 Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease causing inflammation in the joints leading to destruction and deformities. Rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease are both inflammatory diseases, and research suggests that they can contribute to making each other worse; a two-way process where people with rheumatoid arthritis can have higher rates of gum disease, and gum disease, in some patients, seems to be associated with increasing rheumatoid arthritis activity. There may be an association between a harmful type of bacteria, found in the inflamed dental pockets in people with gum disease, which is thought to stimulate disease activity leading to possible rheumatoid flares. Treatment of gum disease may improve the symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

5 Stress

Stress can affect both the general and periodontal health of patients. Continued or intense periods of stress can cause suppression of the immune system which may make an environment perfect for bacterial interaction, causing increased attachment loss. Stress also affects how well people look after themselves and might lead to less effective oral health care routine and cause a plaque build-up, increased smoking and lack of good nutrients.

6 Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes have been associated with gum disease. Negative pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth and pre-eclampsia, as well as with gestational diabetes are associated with gum disease. Studies suggest that bacteria is transmitted via the blood stream to the foetus.

How do I improve my gum care routine?

Maintaining a good gum care routine is important to help prevent and manage gum disease. Here are some ways you can improve your gum care routine;



Use an Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush which removes at least 3 times more plaque than a manual toothbrush and gentler on the gums

The Philips Sonicare 4300 can remove up to 7x more plaque than a manual toothbrush whilst being gentle on the gums to improve gum health.

See our Philips Electric Toothbrushes »

Interdental Cleaning

Interdental cleaning

Clean inbetween your teeth with either TePe interdental brushes or a Philips Airfloss to maximise plaque removal.

Cleaning between your gums can be difficult but very important. The Philips Airfloss or TePe’s interdental brushes are a fantastic way to get to those hard to clean places.

See our Interdental products »



Brush your teeth using Corsodyl Ultra Clean or two minutes twice a day, every day.

The Corsodyl range of products is formulated to help maintain healthy gums. Corsodyl Ultra Clean toothpaste removes 4x more plaque†† than regular toothpastes after a professional clean and twice daily brushing*.

See our gum care products »


If the problems persist, contact your nearest mydentist practice and book an appointment with a dentist or hygienist.

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