Your gums – the foundation of a healthy mouth
We know (because we are told almost daily by toothpaste adverts) that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the UK. However, the causes and treatments are still an area of confusion for many people.
Gum disease is a very common problem for adults so it’s vital that people are aware of the signs, symptoms and treatments available to combat it. Here at the Cottage Dental and Implant Clinic near Swindon we are focused on early detection and prevention but also have very effective techniques for dealing with all stages of the condition.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is typically caused by a build up of plaque on the teeth. This unpleasant sticky substance is full of bacteria which, if not removed, can irritate your gums causing swelling, soreness and sometimes bleeding. Certain foods can cause a very acidic environment in the mouth and in conjunction with plaque, can lead to a breaking down of tooth enamel and subsequently result in tooth decay and tooth loss. Although plaque can be brushed away, if it is left for too long it can turn into tartar which can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis and if this isn’t diagnosed and treated quickly it can develop into a much more serious condition called periodontitis.
Who is most at risk of gum disease?
The main cause of gum disease is poor dental hygiene, so it is vital that you maintain a good oral routine to keep plaque to a minimum. However, there are other factors that may increase your chances of developing gum problems:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Crooked teeth (difficult to clean)
- Certain medications such as steroids and oral contraceptives
So what should you be looking out for?
- Redness in the gum area
- The presence of blood when brushing your teeth
- Tender, swollen gums
- A persistent unpleasant taste or odour in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Gum abscesses
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Unfortunately, gum disease can often be painless with no warning signs so it’s very important to check your gums each time you brush and ensure that you attend regular check ups at your dentist. At The Cottage Dental and Implant Clinic your gums will be assessed at every routine check-up. Our experienced Swindon hygienist provides simple scaling and polishing treatments as well as more complex non-surgical gum treatments. We will also provide detailed advice to all our patients to ensure they are confident in effective oral care techniques.
If you are worried about gum disease, think you may be at risk or simply want to know more about how to prevent it, please give the clinic a call on 01793 855335 for a friendly chat. Alternatively, fill in the contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Remember, gum disease is a common and treatable problem but the sooner it’s recognised and dealt with, the less damage it can do.