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Signs and symptoms

The main signs to look out for are:

  1. Any traces of blood when you brush your teeth or floss. Healthy gums should not bleed. Even if you have no pain, bleeding from your gums, even just a little bit, is not normal.
  2. Receding gums - where the gum line is drawing back to reveal more of the tooth.

When you visit your dentist, we recommend that you share any problems you have about your teeth or gums.

Here is a more detailed look at the signs and symptoms of gum disease:

Healthy gums

This is how your mouth should look if your gums are healthy:

  • Pink, healthy gums
  • Teeth firmly attached to the gums
  • No bleeding when you brush your teeth, floss or eat
  • Here is a more detailed look at the signs and symptoms of gum disease.

    The following symptoms are significant and shouldn't be ignored. If you have any of the symptoms listed you should consult your dentist or hygienist.

Gingivitis

  • Red gums, instead of a healthy pink colour
  • Swollen gums
  • Some blood in your toothpaste and/or bleeding when you brush, floss or eat

Periodontitis

  • Red and receding gums
  • Still some blood when you spit after brushing and regular bleeding when you floss, brush your teeth or eat
  • Gums may start to recede making teeth appear longer

Advanced periodontitis

  • Red gums
  • Gums may recede further
  • Teeth look very long where gum line on the tooth surface has receded
  • Gums bleed of their own accord
  • Teeth become loose in the sockets

These symptoms are significant and shouldn't be ignored. If you have any of the symptoms listed you should consult your dentist or hygienist.