Understanding gum disease
Gum disease is the most common disease in the world, affecting a staggering nine of ten of adults. Despite being a common condition, very little is known about the cause and treatment of the disease which has been linked to other illnesses including alzheimer’s, cancer and strokes.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a buildup of plaque which contains bacteria. If left untreated, plaque can spread below the gum line. This can cause irritation your gums leaving you with a painful and sore mouth.
Spotting the symptoms and treatment
When you next brush your teeth spend some time looking at your gums. Healthy gums should be pink and firm and should not bleed when you touch, brush or floss them. As gum disease isn’t always linked to painful symptoms, you should always been vigilant to check your mouth regularly.
Main types of gum disease
Early symptoms, known as gingivitis can include red or swollen gums, or bleeding gums after brushing or flossing your teeth. If untreated, these symptoms can develop into periodontitis which can cause bad breath, a continuous bad taste on your mouth, gum abscesses and can even cause tooth loss.
In very rare cases, you can develop acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis which can develop suddenly. If you experience any of these symptoms you should make an appointment with your dentist; bleeding and painful gums, painful ulcers, receding gums, bad breath, difficulty swallowing or talking, and a high temperature.
Prevention is better than cure
You can keep mild cases of gum disease at bay by maintaining good levels of oral hygiene, this includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and attending regular dental check-ups.
We recommend visiting a dental hygienist at least every six months to check up on your dental health. A hygienist will be able to remove any hardened plaque, which can cause gum disease; they’ll also be able to show you to some great tips on how to clean your teeth properly in order to prevent gum disease.
Our practice owner Barry has worked in the dental industry for over 30 years and is happy to chat to any patient and answer questions you may have on gum disease. Get in touch with us - we’d love to hear from you.