The enemy you may not know you have

There are two main ways people lose their teeth, one is through decay and the other is through gum disease. Both start off silently, and it’s not until their later stages that they start to hurt. Both can cause you to lose your teeth. The problem with gum disease is that once it’s reached its advanced stage, it is very, very hard to get rid of. If you are not very keen on brushing your teeth, read on. You need to know about gum disease and prevention in Edinburgh, and if you read this, you will want to brush your teeth.

Gum Disease and Prevention in EdinburghWhat causes gum disease

Gum disease is caused by not practising good enough oral hygiene. If you don’t brush your teeth twice a day, or floss between them, you are allowing bacteria to feed on the sugars in your mouth, and to build up around the gum line. These bacteria, while harmless in themselves, give off acids that inflame and irritate the gums.

Early gum disease

The disease that causes inflamed and irritated gums is gingivitis. The gums may swell and can look red. They hurt and they may also bleed when you brush your teeth. These inflamed gums tend to pull away from the teeth and open up little pockets between the gum and the teeth. At this stage, you can get rid of gum disease with diligent brushing and flossing, and with help from your dental hygienist here at Meadowbank Dental in Edinburgh.

Advanced gum disease

Plaque bacteria can get into these pockets and start to build up. The acids from the bacteria start to attack your jawbone beneath the gums and as it is eaten away, your teeth can become loose. Your dentist may be able to hold them in place with splints for a bit, but eventually they will probably fall out. This stage of gum disease is called periodontitis.


Ideally, you want to avoid getting gum disease. Our hygienist can teach you how to brush the plaque away. Floss and interdental brushes can remove plaque from between your teeth, and a biannual clean and polish from the hygienist can remove all the bits you can’t reach properly.