Gum disease is an incredibly common problem, with more than 45% of adults in Britain being affected by it at present, according to AP Smile Care, and 10% living with the most severe cases of gum disease. Where it is not a difficult problem to develop, it is equally as straightforward to prevent, with the right care and advice. There are plenty of things you can do at home to help mitigate the development of gum disease, but firstly, let us explain what it is, the signs of it and how to prevent it effectively.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease refers to the soreness, swelling or infection of the gums, which is the living tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. There are two different types of gum disease that a patient might suffer from: periodontitis and gingivitis. The latter is a condition that inflames the gums, causing them to appear red and swollen.
At this stage, it might cause gums to bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. Gingivitis can be easily treated so as to ensure the issue doesn’t become worse. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. It is at this point that teeth can become loose and fall out of the jaw.
Dentists can help in the sense that they can remove plaque buildup, which is where the damaging bacteria live. As soon as you notice signs of gum disease, you must visit your dentist as soon as possible. Quorn Dental Practice & Implant Clinic is pleased to offer periodontal treatment and procedures to restore your gum health.
What are the signs of gum disease?
There are several tell-tale signs that signal cases of gum disease in patients. Where these symptoms on their own might not always point to gingivitis or periodontitis, it is important that you pay your dentist a visit for absolute peace of mind. This will also allow cases of gum disease to be rectified before it becomes more severe.
Where we are going to briefly detail the signs of gum disease, we have a recently-published blog post that will explain signs of gum disease in further detail. So what signs of gum disease should you be looking out for?
- Bleeding gums, especially after flossing, brushing or eating hard-to-chew foods
- Swollen gums
- Sore gums
- Red gums
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Shrinking gums
- Loose teeth
- Complete tooth loss
How to prevent gum disease
Gum disease can become quite unpleasant for those suffering with it, especially in more severe cases. It could become debilitating in many ways, including: not being able to eat properly, having to avoid hot and/or cold drinks, being self-conscious when it comes to talking or smiling and experiencing pain when brushing and/or flossing teeth, to name a few. It is important to make sure that we can prevent the development of gum disease, maintaining healthy teeth and gums indefinitely. With this in mind, here is everything you can do to help mitigate gum disease.
1. Have regular dental check-ups
One of the most effective ways of preventing gum disease is to ensure you visit your dentist for regular check-ups. Your dentist will be able to pick up on very early signs of gum disease and carry out specialist treatment to prevent it from developing altogether. They will then give you some advice on at-home dental care and hygiene so that you can keep gum disease at bay for the foreseeable future.
2. Floss regularly
Flossing might seem like a pointless task, but it is actually a very important aspect of dental hygiene and care that is widely overlooked. According to YouGov, only 31% of the British public actually floss their teeth regularly. As flossing has been linked with preventing gum disease, it is something you should factor into your daily dental hygiene routine. The general advice is to swill your mouth out with water or mouthwash beforehand and then floss between your teeth.
Afterwards, you need to brush your teeth for at least two minutes to ensure optimum dental hygiene. Flossing will remove food debris from in between your teeth, thus removing a habitat for damaging bacteria to live and subsequently damage your teeth and your gums. Regular flossing will help to prevent the development of gum disease effectively, and it is never too late to start a flossing regime.
3. Attend regular hygienist appointments
A dental hygienist will be able to carry out thorough cleaning and stain-removal on your teeth. In turn, they will meticulously remove any debris from your in between your teeth as well as from the front and sides to achieve excellent dental health. Just like with flossing, regular professional remove of food debris will keep the gum disease-causing bacteria at bay for the foreseeable future, making dental hygienist appointments a great way of preventing gum disease from coming about in the first place.
4. Stop smoking
Smoking can weaken the immune system, making it harder for people to fight off infections and illnesses; gum disease being one condition that will be increasingly difficult for an individual to get rid of themselves. There has been some evidence to suggest that smoking triggers gum disease, according to the CDC, with smokers being twice as likely to develop gum disease when compared to non-smokers. However, even after gum disease has been resolved, smoking can hinder the healing process. Therefore, it is important to quit smoking if you are looking to greatly improve your oral hygiene and dental health.
5. Brush your teeth twice a day
Lastly, but most importantly, brushing your teeth on a regular basis is one of the best methods of preventing gum disease. You need to brush your teeth both in the morning and before you go to bed. Ideally, you should also brush your teeth in between meals and snacking so as to remove food debris from the mouth almost as soon as it appears. Where it is preferable that you use an electric toothbrush, manual brushes are also effective.
Quorn Dental Practice & Implant Clinic have a team of highly-qualified, fully-trained dentists. From regular, routine check-ups and treatments to specialist procedures and cosmetic dentistry, you will always be able to count on us to provide excellent dental care and customer service every single time. For more information about our gum disease treatments in Loughborough and the surrounding areas, get in touch with a member of our friendly, professional team today – we are always pleased to hear from you.