Gum disease affects 50-90% of the adult population in the UK in some form or another. Most people will experience at least one mild case of gum disease in their life. Mild cases of gum disease can be treated through an improvement in overall oral hygiene but the more severe cases require a visit to the dentist.
Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry is well travelled on this road and in this UK dentistry blog we hope to address the nature of gum disease, its symptoms, causes and treatments.
So what is gum disease exactly?
Gum disease aka periodontal disease is a condition that affects the teeth and gums. This is often caused by a build up of bacteria and plaque on teeth. If the plaque builds up too much it can inflame the gums.
How do I know if I have got it?
Healthy gums should be pink, firm and non-sensitive to brushing and food consumption.
If you have a form of gum disease you will most likely experience swollen gums and increased redness. A telling sign of gum disease is if the gums start to bleed after brushing or flossing. Catching it in its early stages is the key to prevention here.
However, if it has been left to develop, your smile will begin deteriorate more rapidly than you would like to see it leading into a more advanced stage known as periodontal disease. You will find that symptoms begin to increase;
- Strange, horrible tastes in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Receding gum line
- Sensitive teeth
- (in extreme cases) Tooth loss
What causes periodontal disease?
Surprise, surprise, a bad diet, poor nutrition and unhealthy lifestyle in general are the predominant factors in creating the primary cause of gum disease, which is bacterial plaque.
Additional causes include all the usual suspects you would expect to find on this list;
- Hormones (any significant changes)
- Genetics (inherited problems)
- Prescribed medications
What treatments are available?
There are varying methods on how to treat this condition.
At Advanced Dentistry we engage with Periodontics – which is the treatment, rehabilitation and restoration of patients affected by periodontal disease. It’s in fact, a large part of what we do here at our practice. Our personal experience is extensive in this area and we apply cutting-edge expertise and techniques on regenerating bone and gum tissue.
Beyond looking after yourself there isn’t really much more you can do. Oral hygiene should be an automatic part of your routine. Our best tips for maintaining good oral health outside of the practice:
- Brush twice a day (after main meals too helps as a preventive measure)
- Antimicrobial mouthwash
- Cut out the bad factors we have listed (e.g. smoking, sugary foods etc.)
Sometimes it’s down to your dentist to save your gums and teeth from things like periodontal disease, but most of the time it’s up to you.