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Might You Have Gum Disease…. How Would You Know?

Many people do not even know that they have gum disease, and in Ireland it is estimated that 4 out of 5 people have gum disease. Here is information on gum disease and some signs and symptoms that may indicate you have gum disease.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth.

Infection leads to red, swollen and tender areas. These areas often bleed when the teeth are brushed or when the tender area is touched.

Bleeding gums have been linked with a number of other health risks including heart disease and diabetes.

How does gum disease occur?

  • Gum disease occurs when large amounts of bacteria join together to form a sticky substance called dental plaque.
  • This plaque lives where the gum and the teeth meet and causes extreme irritation leading to a red, swollen and tender area.
  • As the area becomes more swollen the gums separate from the teeth leading to the development of a ‘pocket’ where more dental plaque lives and eventually damages the gum and the bone around the tooth.

How common is gum disease?

  • Gum disease is the most common infectious disease affecting more than 80% of people worldwide.
  • In Ireland it is estimated that 4 out of 5 people have got some degree of gum disease. The level of gum disease worsens as we get older.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

There are a number of signs and symptoms that may indicate you may have gum disease including:

  • Dark red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Pain when you bite on food
  • Gums that look like they are low down on the teeth
  • Sensitive or loose teeth
  • Smelly breath

So many of us are not even aware that we have gum disease. The best way to be sure is to have a dental health check!

If you require any further information on how we can help you or to book a dental health check contact us at Grand Canal Dental Clinic, Dublin 4, on 016643484 or email us at

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