Gum disease is one of the world’s most common diseases, and it affects the majority of adults in their lifetime.
As gum disease is generally painless, you may not even be aware that you have it, which is why it is so important to attend regular dental and hygiene appointments.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a disease that targets the tissues around your teeth. At its initial stages, it causes inflammation of the gums. At this stage, it is completely reversible and is known as gingivitis.
Although most individuals suffer from gum inflammation from time to time, around 10% of the population appear to suffer from the more severe forms of the disease, called periodontitis. In those cases the disease affects not only the soft tissues around the teeth but also the bone.
In its final stages, gum disease can cause tooth loss, and it is, in fact, the number 1 cause of tooth loss in the UK.
Unfortunately, when in advanced stages, gum disease is not reversible. However, with the appropriate treatment and oral hygiene regime, we can stabilise it, prevent further deterioration and help you keep your teeth for longer.
What are the signs?
The main signs of gum disease are:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Teeth mobility
What causes it?
The main cause of gum disease is a build up of bacteria (plaque). If plaque is not regularly removed with daily brushing, then this can cause gum disease. However, not everyone will necessarily get advanced forms of gum disease.
There are 4 major contributing factors which are thought to be responsible, along with plaque build up:
- Family history
- Certain health conditions, such as diabetes
Gum disease has also been shown to be a potential cause of certain serious heart infections, making it even more important to prevent and treat it.
How can we help?
If you have gum disease, we will put you on a special 3-month review program in order to deeply clean the affected areas regularly, tailor your “at home regime”, reinforce good oral hygiene habits and monitor the treatment progress.
This approach often halts gum disease, but if we see that it doesn’t, we will take appropriate measures and discuss with you about referring you to a specialist.
If you think you are suffering from gum disease, contact us in order to book a consultation with one of our dentists.
If you are worried about this treatment, or if you suffer from sensitive teeth, please mention this to us and we will try our best to minimise the discomfort with local anaesthetic and spread the treatment over more visits.