Gum disease is currently the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the UK.
Gum disease is surprisingly easy to overlook as it is often painless, which means that it can go unnoticed.
Signs of gum disease
There are 7 main symptoms you should keep your eye out for:
- Swollen, red gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Constant bad breath
- Gums that have receded
- Pus in between the teeth
- Changes in bite
- Loose permanent teeth
Causes of gum disease
The bacteria present in plaque, a stick, colourless film that constantly forms on your teeth, causes gum disease. If the plaque is not removed it can harden and turn into tartar. Once the tartar forms it can only be removed by a dental professional.
However, there are other factors that can contribute to the development of gum disease:
- Hormonal changes – such as those occurring during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation, make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for gum disease to develop.
- Illnesses may affect the condition of your gums – this includes diseases such as cancer or HIV that interfere with the immune system. Because diabetes affects the body’s ability to use blood sugar, patients with this disease are at higher risk of developing infections, including gum disease and cavities.
- Medications can affect oral health – some lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums.
- Bad habits – such as smoking make it harder for gum tissue to repair itself.
- Poor oral hygiene habits – such as not brushing and flossing on a daily basis, make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
- Family history of dental disease – can be a contributing factor for the development of gingivitis.
Prevention and Treatment
The best way to keep gum disease at bay is a good oral hygiene routine. It is important to brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and use inter dental cleaning aids to clean between teeth in the areas that brushing alone misses.
It is important that you attend for regular routine dental appointments as the dentist will be able to detect the early signs of gum disease. They will also be able to refer you to the hygienist who will be able to remove plaque and tartar build up. They will also be able to advise you on the best oral hygiene routine to follow in between appointments to keep your teeth looking their best.
If you are concerned about your teeth and gums call College Dental Surgeries on 01622 752340 and book a consultation appointment.