Gum Disease May be More Serious Than You Think!

Although we are becoming increasingly aware of gum disease, we may not realise how devastating it can be.

Most of us will have seen the adverts on TV for toothpastes that aim to help prevent gum disease. The young model goes into the bathroom and brushes her teeth before spitting into the sink. This time though, there is not just the frothy toothpaste in the sink, but some blood too. Naturally this is done for effect and to get a message home, but it may, for some people, indicate that this is the end of the problem and it is just a symptom that isn’t a ‘big deal’.

Unfortunately, gum disease problems go a long way beyond bleeding gums. While this is an unpleasant symptom, it isn’t the only one and, if ignored, these symptoms can lead to some serious issues which include tooth loss and worsened general health.

What is gum disease?

Gum diseases are usually categorised as a milder level (gingivitis) and a more serious one (periodontitis). There is also a third category known as ‘peri-implantitis’ which only affects those with dental implants. For the purpose of this blog, we will look at the first two only and cover the third in a future blog post.

Both gingivitis and periodontitis occur when the harmful bacteria that causes this becomes out of control. We all have these bacteria in our mouths but as long as we brush our teeth and floss, as well as receiving professional help from the hygienist at AR Smiles, your dentist in Eltham, most of us will be able to manage this problem with relative ease. Unfortunately, not everyone does so.

What are the symptoms?

In addition to the bleeding gums, they can also become sore or inflamed, causing significant discomfort. Bad breath, or halitosis, is also often an issue in both stages. As the condition worsens, it is not just the gums that are affected. The infection can reach beneath the gum line and start to affect the roots of the tooth as well as the bone by which they are held securely in place. When this occurs, the bone is likely to deteriorate and the affected tooth may become loose and wobbly and may eventually fall out.

Whilst studies are still being carried out, there is also growing evidence that poor oral health, and gum disease especially, can also impact our general health. The transfer of the harmful bacteria to our blood stream has been linked with a number of serious health issues. These include heart conditions, diabetes, respiratory diseases, complications in pregnancy, arthritis, some cancers and even Alzheimer’s disease.  As you can see then, making sure that we pay attention to our gum health is extremely important indeed.

How do I prevent gum disease?

There are many ways that you can contribute to better oral health and a significantly reduced risk of gum disease.

The most obvious is to ‘tighten up’ your oral health regime. Make sure that you brush your teeth twice a day with a toothbrush that has healthy bristles. If the bristles look worn or are older than three months old, they need replacing. Make sure that you don’t just ‘flat brush’ your teeth and that you rotate the bristles so that they reach into the gum line. If you don’t currently use dental floss, you should definitely add this to your daily routine.

There are other things that you can do though. If you currently smoke, then you need to quit. Smoking is one of the biggest contributors to gum disease as well as oral cancers. Excess alcohol intake is also a major contributor too.

Make sure that you drink enough water on a daily basis to stay well hydrated. Our saliva plays an important role in flushing away bacteria and also preventing a dry mouth which provides the perfect breeding place for these bacteria.

How can AR Smiles help me?

An important part of the plan to prevent or manage gum disease is through a procedure known as a ‘scale and polish’. This is carried out by the local dental hygienist at our Eltham dental practice. This is a non-invasive treatment that involves removing built up hardened bacteria and minerals from the teeth (tartar). As tartar creates a rough tooth surface, it becomes easier for more bacteria to attach itself to your teeth and gums. The treatment will leave your mouth both looking and feeling cleaner and  fresher as well, a benefit that many of our patients seem to appreciate.

This is not the hygienist’s only role though and they will also discuss your oral health with you as well, offering advice on how to improve the way that you look after your teeth and gums. They may also recommend certain toothpastes or mouthwashes that they feel you might benefit from using.

It is never a good idea to wait for symptoms to appear. Being proactive is your best chance of having a healthy mouth free from gum disease. In addition to improving the way you clean your teeth at home, we strongly recommend that you book your hygienist appointment with us now. To do this, simply give us a call on 020 8856 7759 and speak to one of our friendly dental reception team.

Back to News
Copyright 2022 AR Smiles Ltd

Design by Dental Media

416 Well Hall Road, Eltham, London, SE9 6UD
Site last updated December 2023
homechevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram