There is a link between gum disease and heart disease. Bacteria in the mouth can narrow blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attacks. Some medicines can also increase the risk of having gum disease.

Last updated: 04 May 2020

Signs of gum disease

  • Red, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth 
  • Gums that are loose and pull away from teeth 
  • Bad breath 
  • Sensitive or sore teeth
  • Loss of taste 

What can I do to prevent gum disease?

  • Brush your teeth two times a day
  • Use a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste 
  • Clean between your teeth using floss or an interdental toothbrush
  •  If you wear dentures, clean them daily
  •  Have regular dental check-ups 

What are my healthy choices? 

  • Eat regular meals 
  • Eat the recommeded amount of fruits and vegetables
  •  Limit foods and drinks high in added sugars, saturated fats and salt 
  • Choose water as your everyday drink
  •  If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake and talk to your health care provider 
  • Do not smoke - if you do, try and quit. Call Quitline 137848 for support
  •  Keep physically active

Everyone’s needs are different so please see your doctor/dietician for advice.

What do I need to discuss with my health care provider and dental practitioner?

  • Tell them about any oral health problems 
  • Inform them about any heart problems and any other health conditions 
  • Inform them about any treatments or procedures your health care provider or dental practitioner has suggested
  • Tell them about any medications you are taking.

Speak to both your health care provider and dental practitioner for information about the effects of your medicines.

How do I access dental care?

Phone numbers for NSW Public Dental Clinic Contact Centres

Local health districtPhone number
Central Coast1300 789 404
Illawarra Shoalhaven1300 369 651
Hunter New England1300 651 625
Far West(02) 6809 8621
Mid North Coast1300 651 625
Murrumbidgee1800 450 046
Nepean Blue Mountains1300 769 221
Northern NSW1300 651 625
Northern Sydney1300 732 503
South Eastern Sydney1300 134 226
Southern NSW1800 450 046
South Western Sydney(02) 9293 3333
Sydney​​(02) 9293 3333
Western Sydney(02) 8890 6766
Western NSW1300 552 626

* Proudly supported by the NSW Government in association with South Western Sydney Local Health District and Western Sydney Local Health District