Your Sore Gums May Be More Serious Than You Realise

Gum disease can lead to the loss of teeth and is increasingly being linked with serious medical problems.

Most patients of Elmfield House Dental Practice probably take pride in the care that they take in looking after their teeth. Of course, the same care should also be extended to the gums; something which some patients may not realise.

If you do not take good care of your gums, keeping them clean, you are likely to notice symptoms which may well prove to be indicators of gum disease.

Sore, inflamed, or gums that bleed when you brush your teeth are all potential signs that you may have gum disease. Although prevention is preferable, if you do notice any symptoms such as these, or any others which concern you, please contact our Teddington practice as soon as possible to see your local dentist. Gum disease is nearly always effectively treatable if caught in its early stages.


Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Symptoms such as those mentioned above, along with bad breath, means that you need to have your oral health restored, usually by the hygienist, in conjunction with better personal care. Even though you may think that you brush and floss well at home, there are nearly always areas which collect bacteria and food debris that you can’t reach. Gradually, these bacteria harden, forming plaque and then tartar, making it near impossible to remove using a toothbrush.

To clean teeth and the gum line affected in this way, the hygienist will perform a cleaning procedure known as a ‘scale and polish’. This involves scraping away excess tartar (the hard bacteria) before shattering the rest using a sonic tool. Finally, your teeth will be cleaned using a high powered special brush.

Even if you are not exhibiting any symptoms of gum disease; seeing the hygienist at our Teddington practice every six months or so is a great way of keeping your mouth in excellent health.


If you ignore gingivitis and it is allowed to develop, it will eventually lead to periodontitis. This is a much more serious and aggressive form of gum disease, often affecting not only the gums, but the supporting bone too. Eventually, this is likely to lead to tooth loss.

Restoring the health of your gums at this stage may require a more invasive procedure  known as a ‘deep clean’. This involves the cleaning of the tooth right down to the root, and often the surrounding bone too. It is far, far better to have any gum problems treated well before they reach this stage.

Gum disease can not only cause tooth loss, but is increasingly being linked with medical problems including heart disease, strokes and Alzheimer’s. It makes sense to make sure that you don’t increase your risks unnecessarily!

To have your gum health checked, or to see a dental hygienist at our Teddington practice, please call Elmfield House Dental Practice on 020 8614 1995.