Gum disease is a very common condition. It’s also one of the main causes of tooth loss in the UK. This is all the more shocking when you realise that gum disease is not only treatable, but also preventable.
There are two forms of gum disease – the milder form is called gingivitis and the more serious form is called periodontitis. Periodontitis develops from untreated gingivitis, and it is this more advanced condition that can lead to losing teeth. That’s why, should you spot any symptoms of gingivitis, you should book an appointment with us as soon as you can. It’s also just one of the reasons that regular appointments with a dentist and hygienist are so important, because they can spot the early signs of the condition and treat it appropriately.
So, what are the early symptoms of gum disease? The first thing that many people notice is blood when they are brushing their teeth, either on the toothbrush or in your rinsing water or sink. You might also have swollen gums, which may or may not be painful; may notice persistent bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth; may have gums that are receding or teeth that become loose.
If you notice some of these symptoms, what should you do? The first thing is to book in to see one of our dentists or our hygienist. They can diagnose the condition, treat it and help you to prevent it from happening again.
Gum disease is caused by the build-up of plaque bacteria on your teeth. If this isn’t removed by brushing and flossing, it will turn into tartar and lead to gum disease. A thorough clean from the hygienist will remove the irritating tartar and plaque.
Your dentist or hygienist will also furnish you with advice on proper home care, including the correct brushing technique, when it is best to brush your teeth, using floss, interdental brushes and mouth wash correctly, as well as advising on how dietary factors and such habits as smoking can affect the health of your gums.
Gum disease can affect patients of all ages, so remember that this advice applies to all the family.