Avoiding gum disease – start with the basics.
Amongst approximately seventy other different types of bacteria, gingival bacteria is ‘ever present’ in our mouths. On a day-to-day basis, these do us little harm, and regular brushing and flossing helps to keep them under control.
Problems arise however, when we neglect our daily home care. Whilst temporary poor brushing, such as during illness, may cause an increase in bacteria, this will generally not cause any problems once the regular routine is restored. Longer term neglect though, can cause very serious problems for our oral health!
Whilst early stage gum disease, known as gingivitis, can be unpleasant and may produce symptoms such as bleeding or sore gums, along with bad breath, this can generally be treated and reversed at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic. Problems really start to occur though, when we do not deal with gum problems at this stage and allow them to develop.
Once periodontitis, the later stage of gum disease, has taken hold, it is not only sore gums and bad breath that we need to be concerned about. The real danger here is that the infection will have reached below the gum line and is likely to affect the bone in which our teeth are held. As this comes under attack, the bone degrades and its grip on our teeth is lessened. This can lead to loose teeth and even tooth loss in some cases.
What can we do?
Gum disease is very preventable, and, as mentioned earlier, regular brushing and flossing is key to this. We also strongly advise that regular appointments are made with our Epsom dental hygienists. Not only will they offer you advice on diet and your oral health care in general, but also perform a ‘scale and polish’ to remove any hardened bacteria (tartar) that may have formed. Where periodontitis has already occurred, more invasive treatment is needed in an attempt to avoid tooth loss. This is not done by the hygienist but by a qualified dentist, often a specialist, and could involve a more invasive ‘deep clean’ procedure. This involves the dentist accessing the area below the gum line in order to clean the root of the tooth and the bone structure of any bacteria.
This treatment is always performed using a local anaesthetic and would be very uncomfortable without it. Whilst it can be successful in saving a patient’s teeth, it is not a guaranteed success, and, given the relative ease with which gum disease is preventable, patients are strongly recommended to follow our advice to take care of their gum health in the first place!
If you are having any problems with your gums, please don’t delay and call Clock Tower Dental in Epsom. The longer you delay treatment for gum disease, the more damage is likely to be done. Please call our Epsom dental practice today on 01372 720136 to arrange an appointment.