To make sure your teeth stay healthy for the longest time possible, it is important to pay close attention to your gums. It is estimated that around 80% of UK adults will experience some form of gum disease, yet many don’t realise they have a problem.
Whilst most people recognise the link between gum health and teeth, researchers are also uncovering evidence to link gum disease with general health and wellbeing – including conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, strokes, diabetes and even premature births.
What are the symptoms?
The gums act as a barrier, stopping bacteria from entering the body. When mouth infections are left untreated, the resulting bacteria and inflammation can enter the body, causing tiredness and reducing the body’s ability to fight disease.
Gum disease isn’t always painful but there may be symptoms; these include bleeding when brushing, swelling, bad breath or the feeling that your teeth have moved position. If you have any concerns about gum health it is important to visit your dentist because, left untreated, gum disease can progress to periodontitis (a relatively painless disease where the bone supporting the teeth erodes over time), and this can eventually lead to tooth loss.
How is it treated?
With good dental care the risk of gum disease can be controlled. Our treatment and approach can vary from patient to patient. For many people we simply focus on preventing the onset of gum disease. The hygienist will clean the teeth and gums thoroughly and help you to develop the most effective cleaning and flossing techniques to keep plaque at bay.
When gum disease is present the hygienist will carry out a more thorough clean, which may include cleaning the area below the gum line. Depending on the severity, the hygienist may recommend a series of appointments to make sure all traces of bacteria are removed.
Following hygiene treatment, your mouth and gums will be healthier. Regular care, in conjunction with a revised cleaning technique, means you will feel the benefits for longer and at the same time, improve the lifespan of your natural teeth.