What is gum disease?
Gum disease, or periodontitis as it is called by dental professionals, is a destructive disease caused by the body responding to bacteria that are present in plaque which is found on our teeth.
The bacteria cause an inflammatory response within the gums which in turn causes destruction to the foundations that hold the teeth in place. This includes destruction of the: Gums, ligaments and bone; resulting in bleeding and receding gums and teeth become sensitive, mobile and eventually fall out.
Brushing your teeth effectively twice a day will reduce the amount of bacteria, the longer the bacteria is left the more mature it becomes and the more destructive it can be. This disease does not occur overnight and there are treatments available to help prevent and slow down this process.
What can I do to prevent gum disease?
Gum disease is a largely preventable disease, with the key being excellent oral hygiene. Simply brushing thoroughly twice a day and ensuring you are effectively cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth will help to prevent gum disease. If you have never been shown professionally how to effectively clean all of the surfaces of your teeth then a good start is to visit a dental hygienist who will help you achieve a healthier mouth by showing you the bits you are missing and the correct brushes and techniques.
How can I treat gum disease?
Gum disease is treatable and if caught early the prognosis can be quite good. Good cleaning at home is a great start but it is likely that there will be pockets (gaps between the gum and teeth) which you can not clean effectively and will need some professional help. You will probably have seen many products advertised to treat ‘bleeding gums and gum disease’ which whilst they can help, they are unlikely to treat the underlying cause.
How do I know if i’ve got gum disease?
Gum disease is often a silent disease which causes very little pain, although it can flare up from time to time. Some of the signs of gum disease may include; bleeding gums, loose teeth and bad breath. If you have any of these symptoms, get some professional advice as soon as possible.