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13th May 2015

Gum Disease

Gum disease is one the most common reasons for tooth loss in adults in the UK. Gum disease, professionally known as periodontitis, is a condition in which there is inflammation of the gums.  This does not normally illicit any pain; bleeding gums can be the first sign. The disease may be caused by many factors but is usually caused by plaque (food and bacteria on your teeth) collecting between your teeth.

Medications, smoking and poorly controlled diabetes mellitus are associated factors that can make an existing condition worse. Controlling these factors and maintaining oral health this is something that can only be carried out at home through regular brushing and flossing. In more advanced cases some people may find it is too late to take the necessary steps to stop the issue from becoming worse or being irreversible.

Visiting a dental professional on a regular basis is vital as both their expertise and experience can be shared during a simple check-up. They can show you how to manage your condition, show you the correct tools to help you clean and provide you with the correct long term treatment plan that can mean the difference between keeping or losing your teeth. On top of this, dentists are able to spot any minor problems during the early stages, which could be the difference between taking simple preventative measures initially or parting with a lot of money for expensive corrective procedures in the future.

The hygienist forms a crucial part of any treatment regime. They can check your progress, help you get to difficult to reach areas. Early stages involve thorough disinfection of the gums followed by 3 monthly cleaning. This will be pushed back to 6 monthly or yearly when the gums stabilize. You may also be asked to:

  • Use an electric tooth brush or change your brushing technique to a circular motion
  • Floss or use interdental cleaning aids
  • Use a gum specific mouthwash
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Quit smoking
  • See you GP
  • Keep an eye out for changes that occur in the mouth
    Recent changes now mean that you can book to see a hygienist directly as gum disease may be tricky for patients to notice on their own, particularly because this process usually begins very slowly and gradual erosion is difficult to spot. If you feel you have any concerns they can help advise you on the best course of action, meaning there should be more opportunities for your treatment to begin.

If you would like to keep your dental health in top condition, there is no substitute for visiting us regularly, with a long-term care and treatment programme that is tailor-made to you and your needs. At Confidental, our focus is on education and prevention. If you would like to have a free 10-minute assessment of your dental health, please contact us.

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