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Preventing and Treating Gum Disease

22nd March 2019

Although gum disease is an easily preventable condition, it is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the UK today. Gum disease is common in people of all ages and is not only dangerous for your oral health but has also been proven as an indicator of whole-body diseases and conditions.

New research is being carried out all the time, and over the last few years research has found that gum disease is responsible for causing or advancing a whole host of conditions including:

  • Heart disease
  • Type two diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Respiratory disease including pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmony disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Pregnancy related conditions including premature birth and low birth rate
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer of the lung, kidney, pancreas and blood

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is the result of a bacterial build-up that can develop into infection if left untreated. In the early stages it is known as gingivitis; a buildup of plaque as a result of improper brushing after meals, causing inflammation of the gums and tissues of the mouth. If the plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue. This is when gingivitis develops.

The early stages of this infection cause an immune response which leads to irritation, redness and inflammation of the gums and tissue surrounding the teeth. If this infection is untreated, pockets can form around the gums and teeth leading to tooth loss and damage to the bone and mouth.

Symptoms of gum disease

There are a number of tell-tale signs that you’re in the early stages of gum disease. Not only can it start eroding parts of your gum line to expose more of your teeth than is healthy, it can also cause pockets to form between the teeth and gums, where food particles could collect and grow, causing more irritation and more decay to the gum line.

Gum disease is easy to treat if caught early so it’s important to get the right advice and treatment plan as soon as you notice any of following symptoms:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Blood in spit
  • Bleeding when you brush your teeth
  • Sore, swollen gums
  • Bad breath or halitosis
  • Gum recession
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitivity

Treatment

There are things you can do at home to treat the early stages of gum disease and prevent any further damage. Remove plaque twice daily with good toothbrushing and flossing/interdental brushes and make sure you attend regular dentist appointments (at least twice a year if you don’t have any symptoms). That way your dentist can check the health of your gums and offer advice on how to clean plaque away effectively. You may be referred to our Dental Hygiene Therapist Yvonne Kimbley for more thorough cleaning and further advice on how to clean effectively.

If you have advanced gum disease it is likely that you will need further treatment. Periodontal surgery involves removing the affected tooth and this will be carried out under a local or general anesthetic by a specialist. With the right early treatment, this can be avoided.

Cosmetic treatments and gum disease

It’s important that gums are healthy before you embark on any cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening or teeth straightening, although it’s worth noting that treating the swollen gums will improve appearance of teeth too.

If you are concerned about gum disease, it’s important to get help and advice as soon as you can so we can treat it early. Talk to Diamond Dental Care to discuss your concerns by calling our clinic on 0141 952 1692, or BOOK ONLINE.

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