Most of us are probably proud of how well we take care of our teeth by brushing and, if we’re lucky, flossing every day. This is good, but many of us probably don’t pay nearly as much attention to how healthy our gums are.
Even though an infected gum may not hurt as much as a sudden toothache, it can still cause a lot of pain and even make you lose a tooth if you don’t take care of it.
The good news is that gum disease can be avoided with a little extra care, and regular visits to the dentist mean that it can usually be treated in its early stages with a less invasive treatment than it would need in its later stages.
What is gum disease?
When there are more dangerous bacteria in our mouths, we get gum disease. Several things can cause this. The most noticeable of these is not brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Some health problems, like diabetes, can also make this more likely to happen, like smoking and drinking too much. All of these things can cause plaque and tartar to build up on our teeth and make them sick.
What are the symptoms
There are many different signs of gum disease, and it is possible to have almost none at all. This is one reason why we recommend that you see an oral hygienist at Blythe Road Dental every six months, or more often if you are in a high-risk group.
As the problem gets worse, some signs are more likely to show up, but you should still check for any of the following.
• Painful, tender or inflamed gums
• Bleeding gums, especially when you brush your teeth
• Pus between the teeth and gums
• Halitosis (bad breath)
There are many more, but these are the ones that stand out the most. If you notice any of these, please call our clinic to make an appointment so your gum health can be checked.
Preventing gum disease
In our lifetimes, we may all develop gum disease. Usually minor and occurs when we neglect our mouths. If we have the flu or covid and can’t clean our teeth, this is an example. When we start brushing properly again, our gum health is usually restored. If you’ve been sick for a while, see the hygienist after recovering, just to be safe.
Gum disease is easy to avoid by brushing better and angling the bristles at 45 degrees to remove food particles and bacteria from beneath the gum line. Stopping smoking and drinking excessively will also help. Dehydration increases the bacterial count in our mouths because there is less saliva to push them away, so stay hydrated, especially after consuming alcohol.
Treating gum disease
Gum disease prevention is vital to good oral health, so we should all use Blythe Road Dental outstanding dental hygienist service every six months. This prevents tartar, a hardened deposit of bacteria and minerals around the gumline. Rough surfaces attract more germs, increasing gingivitis and periodontitis risk.
You’ll receive advice on how to care for your oral health and a scale and polish to eliminate tartar, leaving your teeth and gums healthier and looking and feeling better. Non-invasive treatment can improve dental health.
If gum disease progresses, then treatment becomes much more difficult. Later stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, affect the gums, tooth roots, and bone. Untreated, this can cause loose, unsteady teeth to fall out. Root scaling or planing is the principal treatment. This difficult and invasive procedure removes bacteria from tooth roots and bone tissue below the gumline. Given the ease of preventing gum disease from reaching this level, there’s no reason not to.
Please take care of your gums. If you don’t see a hygienist, you should start.
Call Blythe Road on 020 7602 5089