Gum disease can be a serious problem and it is one which we are well trained to detect, deal with and treat here at Ascent Dental Care Loughborough. In our latest article we will take a closer look at this problem and what you can to do avoid it.
Many people are unaware that your oral health can be a measure of your overall health, so by looking after your teeth and gums you are promoting general wellbeing for yourself. Experts believe that gum disease can signal and lead to other problems with your physical health including diabetes, strokes or even heart disease. Therefore, it is extra important to take steps to avoid gum disease or get it treated quickly if you are suffering from symptoms.
So what actually is gum disease? Specifically, gum disease is when the tissues that support the teeth (i.e. the gums) become infected. One of the signature symptoms of gum disease is inflammation of the area. As a localised problem this can cause damage to the teeth eventually leading teeth to fall out, but experts have also found a link between this and damage in the blood vessels over time, thus leading to the greater likelihood of those other physical problems mentioned above. What might seem rather worrying is that most people suffer from a form of gum disease, but it is often the type of condition that creeps up on you and occurs slowly. If you can remain a few steps ahead then you should be a good position to keep your mouth and teeth healthy.
Gum disease can be prevented easily with daily brushing, looking after your oral health, eating a varied / balanced diet, and visiting the dentist regularly.
Gum disease is generally split into two stages – firstly an issue called ‘gingivitis’ which is the early stage of gum problems. If this is left untreated, it then this progresses onto periodontitis which is the advanced form, and where problems / complications are more likely to occur.
Gums should be a pink colour as shown by the picture. Gingivitis is characterised by red, sore and swollen gums. A common feature of this condition is that gums will bleed when brushed, and this can be visible in the sink after you have brushed your teeth. You may also notice an unpleasant taste or seem to sense you have bad breath. If this is not remedied and periodontitis occurs, the gums will start to recede making the tooth loose and eventually leading to the possibly they could fall out.
All gum disease is caused by plaque which makes it important that you follow the accepted and advised guidelines with regards to brushing and flossing your teeth. If you are experiencing sore, red or bleeding gums, then there are certain remedies you can try yourself. Buying a specially medicated mouthwash can help treat gingivitis. You are likely to need a one-month course of rinsing two times a day with this. The active ingredient in these kinds of mouthwashes is normally chlorhexidine.
If home treatment doesn’t work, you are advised to visit your dentist, so they can specifically diagnose and deal with your problem. An examination and x-rays of the mouth may be taken to assess the full picture of the gum and bone area. All bacteria is then likely to be removed as far down as the roots, resulting in a procedure known as root planing. If you are experiencing a severe case of gum disease or other treatments seem not to be responding, you may be given antibiotics to help kill the bacteria. Other forms of surgical treatment may also be required.
The key with gum problems is they need to be caught early. If they are identified and dealt with, there are plenty of things that can be done to help and it is unlikely that serious measures will need to be taken.
To find out more about gum disease visit our dedicated page, where you can also get in touch with the team.