Your gums are like cushions for your teeth: they surround the teeth in the jaws and help to support them. Looking after your gums is just as important as looking after your teeth.
Red and swollen gums that bleed when you brush them could be an early sign of gum disease, known as gingivitis. When gingivitis is left untreated it can develop further into a type of infection known as periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and the spaces called pockets become infected. This can lead to further complications, such as gum abscesses (painful collections of pus), receding gums, loose teeth and as a result could lead to loss of teeth so it’s vital to avoid.
All gum diseases are caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to be the main cause of gum disease.
To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day by brushing and flossing. Regular hygiene appointments and dental check-ups are essential in maintaining good gum health.