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Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a bacterial infection of your gums that can cause a whole lot of problems, such as bleeding, inflammation of gums and even tooth loss. Also known as Periodontal disease, it is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. For that reason, it is very important to maintain good oral hygiene and keep your gums and teeth healthy. Otherwise, plaque and tartar can accumulate along your teeth, forming pockets of infection beneath the gum line, causing gum disease.

Gum disease is entirely preventable and can be treated in its early stages (gingivitis). However, if it progresses to the advanced stages (periodontitis), it can cause severe damage to your gums and the bone supporting your teeth. 

While symptoms depend on the stage you’re at, here are some of the common symptoms of gum disease you should keep an eye out for: 


Dental plaque is a sticky, colourless film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. While plaque can easily be removed through brushing and flossing, not doing so can harden dental plaque into tartar. Tartar can coat the surface of your teeth and even spread below the gum line, causing gum disease, and it can only be removed by a dental professional. 

Signs of tartar buildup include bad breath, a yellow/brown hue on your teeth or gums, a rough feeling, and red, irritated or bleeding gums. Since regular dental checkups can remove plaque buildup from your teeth, it is always recommended to schedule a visit to the dentist every 6 months to avoid unnecessary problems. 


Are your gums bleeding right after you brush or floss your teeth? This could be a symptom of gum disease and happens when plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth and along the gumline. Your gums may also appear red and swollen when this happens. 

If bleeding is ignored at the early stages, it could lead to a more advanced form of gum disease. When this happens, your gums may recede from your teeth, forming pockets that can get infected very easily. 


Gum disease, left untreated, can affect the supporting structure of your teeth and the bone. This loss of bone and gum structure that holds teeth together can cause your teeth to become looser and eventually fall out.  


Gum disease can cause bad breath. So, if you are experiencing bad breath even after you brush your teeth, it could be because of gum disease. Bad breath from gum disease is often caused by excessive plaque build-up and bacteria on the teeth and gums. 


Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to gum recession, where your gums pull away from the tooth. This exposes the tooth roots, causing inflamed and sensitive gums and tooth sensitivity. 


Inflammation of gums due to bacteria build up in your mouth can irritate the gums and cause them to be red and swollen. When this happens, it can cause a bad taste in your mouth that is bitter, metallic or sour. While brushing can make this bad taste disappear for some time, it will return in a few hours. 

These are the most common symptoms of gum disease to watch out for. If they seem familiar, we recommend calling (03) 9540 8900 to schedule a checkup ASAP with one of our dental professionals. Don’t wait until dental problems strike to schedule that general check-up. Visiting the dentist every 6 months for a check-up and clean can ensure dental issues are caught early on and addressed immediately, keeping your teeth free of tartar build-up!