There is a question often asked by dental health professionals: you wouldn’t overlook blood coming from another part of your body so why ignore your bleeding gums? It certainly seems that while we accept our teeth suffer from an onslaught of sugar and that we should brush regularly, the health of our gums is of lesser concern – and given that estimates suggest 50% of adults in the UK will be affected by a degree of gum disease this is misguided. As everyone at our central London specialist dental practice will testify, your gums are the foundations in which are teeth are rooted; compromise these, and you destabilise the entire mouth.
How can gum disease affect my mouth?
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Here, the gums around the teeth are swollen and red and may bleed during brushing. Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease which will affect the tissues that support the teeth, making the gums detach themselves from the teeth. It can then harm the jawbone which makes the teeth loose and prone to falling out. One may also get gum abscesses and bad breath. Maintaining good oral health includes looking after your gums. Dr Hiten Halai, our periodontist at specialist dental practice 76 Harley Street treats every stage of gum disease and advises our London patients on preventative care, too.
Are there wider health implications of gum disease?
Gum disease has, in recent years, been linked with other health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease although more research needs to be done to learn how and why. Most recently, a research study has drawn a link between gum disease and breast cancer. It suggests that postmenopausal women suffering periodontal disease are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, perhaps as a result of a systemic inflammation. To identify the specific relationship more research will need to be carried out.