Gum disease is one of the most common dental conditions in the UK. Most people will suffer from a mild form of gum disease at some point in their life. However, left untreated it can lead to more serious conditions, including tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss for patients in the UK.
The early form of gum disease is called gingivitis, and is caused by the build-up of plaque bacteria on your teeth. If plaque is not removed, it causes irritation to the gums, which may bleed and become painful and swollen.Signs of gingivitis include:
- Swollen or painful gums
- Blood on the toothbrush or in the sink when brushing your teeth
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Loose or drifting teeth
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should arrange to visit your dentist or hygienist straight away. Thoroughly cleaning your teeth to remove plaque and helping you develop an effective home cleaning regime will help treat the symptoms of gingivitis.
Regular visits to our hygienist, Anna McGlashan, will also help with the diagnosis of gum disease. As with any disease, the earlier it’s spotted, the easier treatment is, and the better the prognosis.
PeriodontitisLeft untreated, gingivitis will only get worse and can develop into the more serious form of gum disease, periodontitis. This can lead to complications including:
- Loose teeth
- Gum abscesses
- Tooth loss
Periodontitis and its complications may require more extensive treatment. At Meadowbank Dental Practice our associate dentist Dr Cristina Jimenez Mariscal has a special interest in treating periodontal conditions.