Your gums are telling you that they are unhealthy if they bleed when you brush or floss them. Nearly all adults suffer from this and it’s one of the earliest signs of gingivitis or inflammation of the gums.

We can help you. Gum disease is completely preventable with regular hygiene visits and good oral health. Hayley, our highly regarded hygienist, will clean your teeth thoroughly, removing plaque, tartar (calculus) build-up from around the gum line. She will create the perfect environment for your gums to return to optimal health. There may be some oral hygiene or diet tips she can share with you.

If gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to a more serious condition, called periodontal disease. Bleeding gums may also be a sign of this. Frighteningly, this is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults.

If caught early enough, most periodontal disease can be treated. Again, we can help you. We work with a specialist periodontist to help successfully treat progressive gum disease.

Frequently asked questions

What is gingivitis?

If your teeth are not being cleaned correctly, it allows plaque to build up at the gum line – the delicate junction where the teeth come though the gums. Plaque contains harmful bacteria which causes infection and inflammation of your gingivae or gums.

This condition is known as gingivitis. Bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth is one of the earliest signs of gingivitis. It is reversible with effective cleaning by a hygienist.

Plaque left for any length of time will harden and form calculus or tartar on your teeth. This cannot be removed by tooth brushing alone, requiring specialist scaling by your hygienist or dentist.

Regular visits to the hygienist will help you return to and maintain gingival health.

What is Periodontitis?

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to a more serious and advanced condition called Periodontitis. This is a disease of the gum tissue and the underlying bone and is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults.

The bacterial infection and that starts in your gums spreads to the and bone that help keep your teeth secured in place. Eventually, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost.
And can make your teeth feel loose and, in some cases, it can make your teeth fall out.

Periodontitis is often painless. By the time people become aware of the problem, serious damage may have been done.
If caught early enough, most periodontal disease can be treated. We are here to help you with this.

What are the symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis?

A healthy set of gums should be pink and firm. They will keep your teeth securely anchored into place and should not bleed when you touch or brush them.

The main symptoms of gingivitis include:
Tender or painful gums,swelling and redness in the gums and bleeding gums on brushing or flossing.

If you develop periodontitis, the pain, bleeding and swelling of your gums may intensify.

There may be other symptoms:
A foul taste in your mouth, bad breath (halitosis), difficulty eating, pus coming from the gums, loose or falling out teeth and abscesses on your gums.

If you are concerned in any way, please let us help.

What is the main cause of gingivitis?

Sugary food encourages the growth of plaque, a soft deposit of bacteria, on the teeth. Poor oral hygiene means that this bacteria remains on the teeth and this leads to gum disease.

But it is reassuring to know that it is reversible in most cases, and with good on-going oral care, is completely preventable.
Are there any people pre-disposed to bleeding gums?

Some people seem more prone to bleeding gums than others. Stress, smoking and poor diet can all be triggers, as can rough or crooked teeth. Ill-fitting or unclean bridges, fillings, crowns, dentures or braces may also irritate the gums.

Uncontrolled diabetes and the side effects of certain drugs can also cause bleeding gums.

Pregnancy can cause bleeding gums.

There are other rare causes of bleeding gums such as vitamin C deficiency, haemophilia, and leukaemia, but they are accompanied by other symptoms.

Please talk to Hayley or one of the dentists and we can help you.

I am pregnant and my gums bleed now.

Bleeding gums are quite common in pregnancy. Hormone changes weaken the connective tissue in the gums, making them softer, and the increase in blood makes bleeding more likely. Visit our pregnancy section for useful information on what you should do.

I have receding gums. Is this a problem?

Receding gums are a sign that there has been some loss of the tissue supporting the tooth. There are three main causes:

Age We can check your gums to see if the levels of recession are consistent with your age.

Over-aggressive brushing If this is the case, Hayley, our hygienist, can help show you how to brush your teeth without causing damage.

Gum disease

More extensive gum recession could indicate underlying periodontal disease although not everybody with periodontal disease will get gum recession. There are often no symptoms to gum disease and when symptoms do finally present themselves, damage may already have been done. We can help you.

We can treat gum recession with minor gum surgery if it is unsightly.

How do I prevent and treat bleeding gums?

The best ways to treat gingivitis and periodontitis is to practice good oral hygiene. You can do this by:Brushing your teeth twice a day – morning and last thing at night. If possible, it is best to use an electric toothbrush.

Flossing daily.

Not smoking.
Giving up smoking is hard. These websites may be of help.

Regular hygiene visits to make sure that plaque and tartar do not build up on your teeth

If you do not respond to hygiene treatment, surgery may be necessary. We have an in house surgical dentist, Andre de la Grange (B.MedSc, BChD, Dip Odont (Oral Surgery) who is well-equipped to deal with this.

Some more severe cases of periodontitis may require a short course of antibiotics to help treat your infected gums. Some antibiotics can affect pregnancy and breast feeding. So please tell us if you think that you may be pregnant.

Certain antibiotics can affect the effectiveness of the oral contraceptive or pill. You need to use additional precautions for your whole cycle and not just over the period during which you are taking the antibiotics.
I smoke. How does this affect my gums?

Smokers are far more likely to suffer with more severe gum problems than non-smokers. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream which, in turn, slows down the healing process in the body. Therefore, if you have a gum infection, it will be slower to heal if you are a smoker.

It’s all the more important to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.

If you feel ready to give up, Hayley and the rest of the team are happy talk through ways of giving up.

You can also call the free NHS Smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169. Advice is available between 7am-11pm seven days a week.

These websites may be of help.

Your GP will also be able to advise you about smoking services in your local area.

  • We’ll draw up a personalised dental treatment pathway to maintain your teeth in a super-healthy state.
  • Hayley does supraginival scaling and root planning to rid the gum line of plaque and tartar.
  • We can apply an anti-microbial (perio chip) to your gums which is lethal to the bad bacteria
  • We use a topical local anaesthetic liquid to minimise any discomfort
  • We know you’re busy. If we’re running late for any reason, we’ll always call you in advance