Gum disease

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Information for the public about gum disease.

The information comprises:

  1. Introduction
  2. Symptoms of gum disease
  3. Causes of gum disease
  4. Diagnosing gum disease
  5. Treating gum disease
  6. Complications of gum disease
  7. Preventing gum disease

Gum disease (also known as gingivitis) and periodontitis, which can follow a case of gum disease, are two conditions that affect the teeth and gums.

Gum disease causes:

  • red and inflamed (swollen) gums
  • bleeding gums when brushing teeth

Gum disease is usually caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance made up of bacteria. It is usually removed by brushing the teeth but, if it builds up, the bacteria can irritate the gums and cause inflammation (swelling).

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