Gum disease is very common and affects more than 50% of all adults. Gum disease causes many problems: bad breath, bleeding gums, abscesses, loose teeth and can lead to tooth loss. Unfortunately, around 15% of people lose teeth due to gum disease and it has been linked to an increase risk for other health conditions such as strokes, heart and lung disease.
The most common forms of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the superficial soft tissue supporting the tooth, leading to swelling and bleeding. Whilst not all cases of gingivitis will lead to periodontitis, managing it is an important preventive. Gingivitis is reversible and may be treated with the help of hygiene sessions and improved oral hygiene.
Periodontitis involves the deeper supporting structures including bone destruction. Unfortunately this bone destruction is generally irreversible.
What causes gum disease?
Dental bacterial plaque is the major cause of gingivitis and periodontitis, the invisible or white, sticky film that forms on your teeth. A number of other factors can contribute and aggravate the condition. These can include smoking, genetic susceptibility, medication that reduces saliva, diabetes, stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, nutritional deficiencies in calcium, Vitamins C and B.
Gum disease in ENTIRELY PREVENTABLE. The problem is that it often goes unnoticed until it is too late. This is why regular check-ups and hygienist visits are so important.
The symptoms of gum disease
People can be unaware that they have gum disease as its not painful (unless the condition causes an abscess)
- Red swollen gums
- Bleeding gums during brushing or eating
- Bad breath and bad taste
- Loose teeth and early loss of teeth
- Gaps between your teeth
- Black triangles where the inter-dental gingival tip is lost
- Receding gums
- A change in the bite
Preventing gum disease
- Visit your dentist and your hygienist – it’s recommend that you attend regular appointments depending on your susceptibility.
- Brush your teeth well, twice a day (morning and night) using toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Perfect a good brushing technique – brushing should last at least 2 minutes.
- Using an electric toothbrush can provide you with good dexterity to reach all those important areas.
- Cleaning between your teeth is essential (using inter-dental brushes of the correct size or floss).
- A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Consider counselling on how to stop smoking or for weight loss and controlling sugar intake.
Treating gum disease
The treatment administered depends on to what extent you are suffering with gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist will discuss the necessary course of action for you before beginning with any treatment.They will help patients to achieve and maintain the best possible periodontal health.
Visit our Hygiene Appointments page for more information.
Call us now to book a hygiene appointment 01904 623436