Symptoms of gum disease

Healthy gums should be pink, firm and keep your teeth securely in place. Your gums shouldn't bleed when you touch or brush them.

Gum disease isn't alwayspainful and you may be unaware you have it. It's important to have regular dental check-ups .

Early symptoms

The initial symptoms of gum disease can include:

  • red and swollengums
  • bleeding gums after brushing or flossing your teeth

This stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.

Advanced symptoms

Ifgingivitis is untreated, the tissues and bone that support the teeth can also become affected. This is known asperiodontitis, or periodontal disease.

Symptoms of periodontitis can include:

  • Halitosis (bad breath) (halitosis)
  • anunpleasanttaste in your mouth
  • loose teeth that can make eating difficult
  • gum abscesses (collections of pus thatdevelop under your gums orteeth)

Acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis

In rare cases, a condition calledacute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) can develop suddenly. The symptoms of ANUG are usually more severe than those of gum disease and can include:

  • bleeding, painful gums
  • painful ulcers
  • receding gums inbetween your teeth
  • bad breath
  • a metallic taste in your mouth
  • excess saliva in your mouth
  • difficulty swallowing or talking
  • a high temperature (fever)

When to see a dentist

You should make an appointment to see your dentist if you think you may have gum disease or ANUG.

If you don't currently have a dentist, search for a dentist near you .


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016