Gum disease is one of the most common health conditions in the world with most adults having it to some extent. Despite its prevalence though, how much do people really know about it?
Gum disease: the facts
1. The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis and is usually accompanied by bleeding gums when brushing and bad breath. It shouldn’t be left untreated though as it can lead on to further deterioration of oral health.
2. Full blown gum disease is known as periodontitis and this is where things can get more serious because the jawbone itself can be affected, becoming softer and less able to offer a secure socket for your teeth. As a consequence, tooth loss can be an unwelcome side effect.
3. It’s not just about the mouth either! Whilst losing teeth is no fun the untreated condition can lead to far worse symptoms and even potentially life threatening illnesses such as cancer or cardiovascular problems.
4. Periodontitis has the potential to become more prevalent post the menopause although recent studies have shown that it can potentially be treated with oestrogen therapy and a good oral health regime.
5. In all cases gum disease is caused by a plaque build up, which is why it’s so essential to brush regularly and properly whilst regularly attending dental appointments.
6. Smoking also has a detrimental effect on oral health and can worsen gum disease by limiting the oxygen in the blood stream which is needed to heal infected gums.
7. Root planing may be required in some cases to remove the last vestiges of bacteria. The dentist will advise if this is necessary and you can expect some discomfort for up to 48hours after the appointment.
What’s the next step?
We here at No.76 Harley Street will be delighted to provide more detailed advice about the prevention and treatment of gum disease on your next appointment. As with all health issues prevention is better than cure and we’ll run through the simple things you need to do to avoid gingivitis and periodontitis.