Gum disease :

Healthy gums

gencive saine

Healthy gums are uniformly pink in colour with no sign of inflammation. The papillae (triangular region between the teeth) are not swollen. There is never any bleeding, even when you brush your teeth..


Diseased gums



Dental plaque:

The numerous bacteria present in the saliva rapidly attach themselves to the teeth, proliferate and produce a gel which causes the bacteria to compact together. A certain amount of already toxic dental plaque, is thus formed in 24 hours. This dental plaque accumulates especially between the teeth and along the gums.



Gingivitis :

Dental plaque bacteria trigger an inflammatory reaction in the body: the gums swell and become inflamed, particularly between the teeth. Bleeding gums on brushing your teeth is a sign of gingivitis.


Treatment of gingivitis :

lGingivitis can be completely reversed by improving the removal of dental plaque on brushing and dental flossing

Gingivitis will gradually lead toperiodontitis: The dental plaque bacteria progressively weave their way between the tooth and the gum, thereby accentuating the inflammation. This inflammation attacks the bone supporting the teeth and triggers gradual resorption. Periodontitis is more commonly known as gum disease.

The rate at which periodontitis advances can be influenced by various factors such as smoking, the patient’s genetic characteristics and the type of bacteria present in the mouth…

Treatment of periodontitis :

As with gingivitis, excellent control of dental plaque is of paramount importance but is not sufficient. Dental treatment is required. Various treatment options are available depending on the severity of the periodontitis. Treatment is principally based on disinfecting the surface of the teeth so that the gum becomes reattached to the tooth.

Role of smoking in gum disease

Smoking is the most significant risk factor in the onset of periodontal diseases. Systemic effects associated with nicotine include a reduction in gum vascularisation and diminished activity by the body’s defence cells, in terms of number and efficacy.


The patient therefore appears to have healthy gums with no evidence of bleeding. However, the bacteria are present and will proliferate if the body does not react appropriately. By the time the patient notices the first symptoms, the disease has already taken hold.

This systemic action is accompanied by the local deposit of toxic substances on the surface of the root. This can reduce the response to treatment for periodontitis.



Gum disease and general health


The early diagnosis and treatment of periodontitis is also important for your general health.

There is scientific evidence to show that periodontitis is linked to certain systemic diseases.

Periodontitis causes the gradual destruction of supporting dental tissue, tooth loss and ultimately chewing malfunction. This disease:

  • reduces the chewing function
  • is unsightly
  • causes tooth loss
  • is debilitating
  • leads to social exclusion
  • reduces the quality of life

The inherent consequences of this disease can have a potentially negative impact on your general health.




Studies have shown that periodontitis increases the risk of glycaemic imbalance in patients suffering from Diabetes mellitus. It should also be noted that blood glucose levels are more difficult to control in diabetics suffering from gum disease. Furthermore, periodontal disease in diabetics may increase the risk of diabetes-related complications such as an alteration in the healing process or cardiovascular or kidney disease..

We also encourage diabetic patients who have lost several teeth to undergo dental rehabilitation to improve the chewing function in order to eat properly.

Cardiovascular diseases :




Periodontitis appears to increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, the bacteria involved in periodontitis can enter the bloodstream and thus cause complications in patients with existing cardiovascular disease.

Complications during pregnancy :

grossesseThe bacteria involved in periodontitis and present in the bloodstream can directly target the foetus, resulting in a low birth weight or premature birth.

For further information on the links between gum disease and general health, visit:

Receding gums


Receding gums are mostly caused by bacteria (linked to “periodontitis”). In some cases, however, the gums may recede because of harsh brushing or if the gum is very thin. Gum fibres that have a sealing action around the tooth disappear and the lifespan of the tooth is compromised. Receding gums can be treated by adding gum fibres. This is usually carried out by a periodontologist.

Make an appointment

Contact one of the following to make an appointment with a specialist in the Department of Periodontology and Oral-Dental Surgery at Liège CHU (University Hospital Centre):

+32 4 366 76 54

Periodontology Clinic :
+32 4 270 31 23


Get to know our
Periodontology Department

Recognised as a centre of excellence in the fields of periodontology, implantology and oral-dental surgery…