A warning has been issued to Brits over a "quiet disease" lingering in our mouths, leading to serious issues down the line.
Gum disease symptoms have been found in around 15% to 30% of UK mouths with many adults exhibiting chronic signs of the dental disease.
According to the Natural History Museum in London, gum disease is now worse than it was in Roman Britain when only 5% to 10% showed signs of the condition.
With so many people at risk of long-term issues from gum disease, Dr Neiva, chairman of periodontics at Penn Dental Medicine and others have shared advice for spotting this "very, very quiet disease".
What are the causes of gum disease?
According to Dr Deborah Foyle at the University of Dentistry in Texas, gum disease is "caused by bacteria on teeth — plaque — that release products that irritate the gums."
The early stage of the disease is known as gingivitis and is easily avoidable through good dental hygiene.
People often develop the early form of the disease caused by plaque when they aren't brushing or flossing adequately.
Back teeth are more susceptible to this as they are harder to reach.
When gingivitis is left untreated, the bacteria can invade and destroy gum tissue around the teeth, leading to advanced gum disease.
Dr Foyle told the New York Times: “The bone supporting the teeth starts to break down, leaving the roots of the teeth exposed and sensitive in some cases."
Adding: “Spaces develop between the teeth, and the teeth start to get loose.”
Warning signs and symptoms of gum disease and how to prevent it
Gingivitis often goes noticed because it doesn't cause pain. However, those with the condition may notice their gums bleed when brushing or flossing.
The gum next to the teeth may also look redder and more irritated is another common symptom.
It was also noted by Dr Jeong that smokers with gingivitis may not experience bleeding, putting many unsuspecting victims at risk.
Dr Neiva says regular brushing and flossing is one way to stop gum disease but once gingivitis has taken hold, at-home hygiene isn't always enough and you may need to visit your dentist.
If you notice these symptoms and they get worse, you should speak with your dentist.