Bleeding gums are one of the most obvious signs of gum disease and we urge all our patients to be on the lookout for warning signs and to act quickly. With gum disease, there is a risk that symptoms can become worse quite quickly and it’s always best to get dental help as soon as you can, not just to reduce the risk of gum disease becoming more advanced, but also to save you from suffering. Other warning signs to be watchful for include swelling and inflammation in the gums, tenderness and pain. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the milder form of gum disease and it is usually characterised by bleeding gums. Most cases of gingivitis can be easily managed with good oral hygiene, but if this form of gum disease is left untreated, it can become more serious. Periodontal disease, an advanced form of gum disease, is irreversible and eventually causes damage to the bone structure, which supports the teeth and gums, causing the teeth to become loose and fall out. Symptoms of periodontal disease include pockets between the teeth and gums, loose teeth, an unpleasant taste in the mouth and bleeding gums. If you have symptoms such as swollen and bleeding gums, we advise you to ring and arrange an appointment with your dentist; if you do have a mild form of gum disease, we can provide treatment to prevent the condition from getting worse and save the gums from permanent damage. We will give your mouth a thorough clean and remove plaque and harmful bacteria to cleanse your mouth and reduce the risk of further infection. We may also recommend a session with our dental hygienists and follow-up appointments. Gum disease is a preventable illness and the best way of protecting your gums is to stick to a good oral hygiene routine at home. Gum disease is caused by bacteria, which release plaque acids that irritate the gums and cause them to become swollen. Plaque is formed when bacteria combine with saliva and food debris; it is colourless and sticky and it clings to the teeth and gums.