Gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. If left, this plaque builds up on and between the teeth irritating gums and making them swollen. When this swelling happens, it can allow a space or ‘pocket’ to form around the tooth. As the amount of bacterial plaque increases, so does the depth of the pocket. This causes gums to recede, exposing more of the tooth. If left untreated, the pocket can become so large that teeth may loosen and even need to be removed.

There are two stages of gum disease:


Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. It occurs when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when brushed. If left untreated, long-standing gingivitis can develop into severe gingivitis or periodontitis.


Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease where bacterial plaque destroys the gums, soft tissue and eventually the bone anchoring the tooth, making the tooth loose. If left untreated, the tooth may eventually fall out or need to be removed.
Early diagnosis and treatment of young, susceptible people is very important, otherwise teeth may loosen early in life, and may be lost as early as the thirties and forties.

Our specialist periodontist is very successful in stabilising the condition and preventing further bone loss. Periodontal therapy does require good co-operation between patient and therapist and the condition requires long term management.