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What are red gums?

Red gums can indicate the onset of periodontitis or gum disease in its initial mild form – gingivitis.

Red gums can reduce your self-confidence and negatively impact your well-being as you may become reluctant to smile and hesitate to eat, drink or adequately brush your teeth for fear of pain and/or discomfort.

Symptoms of red gums

  • Distinct colour change of your gums from your natural pinkish tone to one of deeper red
  • Tender or sore gums to the touch
  • Bleeding gums when you brush and/or floss your teeth
  • Bad breath
  • An unpleasant taste due to pus discharge
  • Pain, discomfort and/or bleeding when you eat or drink
  • A noticeable change from firm to softer gums

Speak to a dental professional today

Our dentists have all the experience, skill and technology required to diagnose and treat red gums. Arrange an appointment with our dental team at our central London dental clinic, situated on the prestigious Wimpole Street.

What causes red gums?

  1. Poor, inconsistent oral hygiene – the initial irritation occurs due to the accumulation of bacteria and plaque leading to the start of the mild form of gum disease, gingivitis
  2. Previously unknown allergies – to foods, drinks, medicines or mouthwash
  3. Side-effects of medical treatment such as chemotherapy
  4. Significant mouth ulcers or dental abscesses requiring professional treatment
  5. Gum abrasion – brushing your teeth with an incorrect technique, meaning you are vigorously brushing your gums instead

How to treat red gums

In the case of gingivitis, red gums will quickly heal once its cause – dental plaque or tartar – has been removed. This can happen if you improve your oral hygiene, i.e., start flossing and using better brushing techniques. However, often the plaque and/or tartar is already too thick for the patients to be able to remove it themselves, and that’s when a visit to your dentist and to your dental hygienist for professional teeth cleaning will become essential to start the healing process and revert the inflammation.

Dental professionals can also advise you on how to optimise your oral hygiene routine at home and recommend the best dental products available for use.

Prevent red gums from returning by booking in your schedule of routine check-ups with both your dental hygienist and your dentist, here at Wimpole Street Dental Clinic.

As always, the first step for better oral health is to Book an appointment with your dentist for a professional examination.

Prof Christian Mehl

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

A certified implantologist and prosthodontics specialist with 20+ years in dentistry, I conduct clinical research, teach at University of Kiel, and contribute to implant system development. Recipient of the Camlog Research Award, I frequently publish and deliver global lectures.

Clinically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

When did we last update this page?

Our expert team continually update and research the latest news and techniques in dentistry, as such we regularly update our pages and have these clinically reviewed.

Current Version

July 21st 2023

  • Added “when did we last update this page” and author biography to the page.

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Medically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

Previous Versions

October 2nd 2022

  • Page redesigned and updated to reflect change in address.

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Medically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

30th August 2021

  • Original content created.

Written by: Prof Dr Christian Mehl

Medically reviewed by: Dr Raul Costa

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