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Prevention of Gum Disease

2015 January 23
by Sanjay Narda

Preventing gingivitis and periodontitis and how to reverse it when it occurs.

There is, perhaps, some misunderstanding about the potential severity of gum disease.

Although most of us will have some degree of gum disease during our life, this may be barely noticeable and may rectify itself when we improve our brushing and flossing regime.

If ignored though, gum disease can have disastrous consequences and may even result in tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is the largest cause of tooth loss in the UK. This is a tragedy really as it is relatively easily prevented and/or treated in its early stages.

Symptoms

There are a number of symptoms which may indicate gum disease. If you have any of these, and live here in Princes Risborough or in the vicinity of Thame, High Wycombe or Wendover, you should arrange to see us as soon as possible.

●     Red, or sore gums

●     Indications of blood when you clean your teeth

●     Halitosis

●     Receding gums

Gingivitis

At the Bank House Dental Centre, we see many patients with early stage gum disease, also called gingivitis. Even in those who follow a good oral health care regime, plaque can build up in the hard to reach parts such as the rear of the back teeth.

This plaque is actually the bacteria that can lead to gum disease and needs to be removed quickly.

In very minor cases, simply pointing out the problem to the patient may lead to better brushing in certain areas which may be sufficient. However, in cases, where early gum disease is evident, more frequent hygiene visits, including regular scale and polish, may be necessary.

This will ensure that any hardened plaque that has built up is removed and should help prevent gingivitis from progressing to even more dangerous periodontitis. Recovery from this early stage gum disease is possible quite quickly providing that the patient follows up on any advice we offer regarding their cleaning regime.

Periodontitis

If gum disease becomes significantly advanced it can lead to periodontitis. This is very serious and, at this stage, the teeth themselves are threatened.

Not only does periodontitis affect the gums but also the bone in which the teeth are held. When this is attacked by the bacteria, it weakens and thins, leading the teeth to be less secure and prone to falling out.

As you can see, this needs urgent treatment to prevent tooth loss.  A more complex cleaning treatment may become necessary, similar to the scale and polish but below the gum line and down to the root of the tooth. This procedure will always be done with a local anaesthetic as it would otherwise cause the patient discomfort.

At the Bank House Dental Centre, we encourage our Buckinghamshire dental patients to visit us regularly so that we may monitor their oral health and hopefully prevent gum disease from occurring in the first place.

To arrange an appointment with us, please call us on 01844 343381.

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