Gum Disease

Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Latest announcement by the government in the news that dentist can open on the 8th June 2020.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been clear that our first priority is the wellbeing of our patients and staff and this continues to be the case. As a result, the practice will only be reopening once we are satisfied that we have all of the necessary processes and personal protective equipment in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

Dentists were not given any notice of our reopening date and the information was only received via the daily briefing.  We are working around the clock to get protocols and procedures in place based on the latest guidance made available.

We will contact patient via email with more information about when the practice will reopen and will also be updating the website. In the meantime, please do not attempt to make a new appointment or attend the practice in person for any reason unless you are asked to do so. If you need advice, or if you are in need of urgent dental treatment, you should continue to call the practice and leave a voicemail. One of the dentists will return your call and be able to help.

We are determined to support patients who need care as quickly as possible and will be opening the practice to provide further treatments as soon as we are safely able to do so. We will keep you fully informed throughout this process

Tips to help manage dental problems until you can see a dentist:

Click on the following link Managing Toothache at Home (pdf document)


What is gum disease?  

Screening for gum disease forms an integral part of your routine examination.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal or gum disease is an infection affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth. These tissues include the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease is usually a slow, painless, progressive condition. Most adults with this disease are unaware they have it but if diagnosed and treated early the teeth can be saved.

In it’s early stages it affects the gum only and is called gingivitis. Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.

This is reversible but if it progresses it begins to attack the bone which holds the tooth in it’s socket and is called periodontitis. This can be treated to stop further bone loss but if left untreated can result in loss of the tooth.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

The first sign is blood on the toothbrush or in the rinsing water when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant.

Causes of gum disease

  • Plaque
    All gum disease is caused by plaque. This is a white mass of bacteria which adheres to teeth, crowns, bridges, dentures and soft tissues. When plaque is not removed it irritates the gums causing them to become red, tender and bleed easily. Over time it hardens and is then known as tartar which requires removal by professional intervention. The constant irritation from tartar results in gums becoming detached from the roots allowing ‘pockets’ to form around the teeth. Bacteria in these pockets begin to destroy bone that holds the tooth in place which may result in the tooth becoming loose and eventually lost.
  • Smoking
    Smoking is another risk factor that increases the risk of gum disease.

    Smoking has many affects on oral health. It can cause an increase in plaque and tartar and cause staining. Smoking reduces the blood flow to the gums hence destroying all the supportive structures. This can lead to the gums receding, tooth movement and tooth loss.  Smoking will also cause furring of the tongue, increasing bad breadth. 


There are also a number of other host factors that can worsen periodontal disease such as diabetes mellitus, puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. The underlying cause is still plaque but these conditions can worsen your periodontal condition.

Management of gum disease