Solutions to common dental problems


Gums that are healthy are usually well attached to your teeth, don't bleed upon brushing and flossing and are firm.

You can improve your gum health by cleaning between your teeth, using floss or an inter dental product.

Practicing good oral hygiene is the key to preventing and treating gum disease.  Not only can you prevent gum disease, but you can also slow down or stop the further deterioration of your gums.

Healthy teeth need healthy gums - so it's not all about your bright pearly whites!

woman flossing teeth

Are Your Gums Healthy?

Gum tissue is delicate and lines the mouth, providing a sealant around the teeth. Although a soft tissue lining, gums are attached to the jawbone.

Healthy gums are free of pain and inflammation. They are firm in texture, smooth and do not bleed when probed. Healthy gums 'hug' or wrap firmly around your teeth without gaps or sores. However, they can become irritated and become unhealthy.

Gums can become damaged due to vigorous brushing. This may also be due to the build-up of plaque (film of bacteria) and tartar.

The problem with plaque is that if it is not removed it hardens beneath the gum line. The result is gum disease. This results in gums receding or pulling away from the tooth. You might find that your teeth (that are affected by gum disease) appear longer. This is because your gums are shrinking.


Factors Impacting Your Gums

There are a variety of known sources that can cause gum problems. Some of these risk factors include:

  • tobacco and smoking - can cause sensitivity, bleeding, sores and damage. It also weakens your immune system making it easier for gum infection to take hold
  • poor nutrition - avoid high sugar foods and beverages
  • stress - triggers the increase of the hormone cortisol. This increases the possibility of an inflammatory response throughout your body including the gums
  • pregnancy - your gums may be more red, bleed more and be swollen from the beginning of the second trimester right into the later stages of pregnancy
  • puberty - the rise in hormones during puberty increases the blood flow to the gums. This can make them more sensitive and cause redness and swelling
  • diabetes
  • medications

FAQs about Gums

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease (or periodontal disease) is a condition with a number of stages.

An early sign of gum disease (gingivitis) is that you have bleeding gums or they become inflamed. This occurs when there is build-up of the plaque and tartar at the gum line, or more specifically, the bacteria is inducing an inflammatory response.

Gingivitis causes gums to become inflamed due to bacterial infection. If gingivitis is not treated you risk more advanced gum disease from developing. The 'gums' peel or fall away from teeth. The gap resulting acts like a pocket becoming a catchment where plaque and bacteria can grow and fester.

Other signs include persistent bad breath and evidence of receding gums, and tooth decay. For some the inflammation caused is painless. While some may puffiness or other signs, others show no irritation or little or no pain.

The removal of plaque can lead to a reversal in the inflammation. Where you may have gingivitis, early intervention can help heal your gums back to health. However, where left untreated the problem can worsen.


Where gingivitis worsens, the condition is known as periodontitis and can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Advanced periodontitis is a form of gum disease that damages the bone, tissues connected to the teeth and the gum itself. The bone and fibres that support the tooth are damaged beyond repair.

Tartar is bacteria filled and can only be removed by a professional cleaning. The longer plaque and tartar remain, the greater the risk of developing periodontitis.

Preventative Measures

Did you know that periodontal disease is preventable? Painful, sore and damaged gums can be minimised by taking preventative action.

  • brush your teeth - it's important to not be too vigorous with brushing as this can irritate the gums. A circular brushing technique that is gentle but firm can keep both your teeth and gums clean. Hard bristles can leave your gums red and sore and even cause damage to the enamel of your teeth. Aggressive brushing can also lead to your gums receding and bleeding.
  • flossing - helps to reach places where your toothbrush cannot reach. You need to be gentle when flossing. Wedging floss between teeth can be too forceful and damaging. Use a gentle sliding motion when flossing.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste - as these can help reduce gingivitis
  • Get a professional cleaning - in addition to a dental check-up, a professional cleaning provides the dentist the opportunity to detect early stages of periodontal disease. It also means treatment can start early preventing the disease from advancing to an more serious state. A professional clean removes plaque and tartar build-up that is not possible to remove with at home brushing.
  • good nutrition and plenty of water - maintaining a well balanced diet and ensuring proper water intake

Left untreated, the result can be tooth loss.

Improve your oral hygiene processes and complement these with regular professional cleanings and check-ups to reduce the possibility of advanced periodontitis.

What Can You Do?

If you have a specific dental problem, or have been tracking well but it’s been a while between visits, we are here from you.

A regular dental check-up is the best line of defence in detecting problems.

We at Woodville & Seaton Dental Clinic aim to work with you to make the best-informed decision in relation to your specific needs. 

Maintain great oral health and a happy and healthy smile!


49 Woodville Road

Woodville, SA 5011

(08) 8268 5422

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