Gum disease is extremely common and affects three out of every four adults over the age of 35 in the UK. The main symptom is sore, bleeding gums during tooth brushing.
Gum disease, not tooth decay, is the biggest cause of tooth loss, and only 60% of women in the UK aged 45 have all their own teeth.
Obviously, eating and smiling with missing teeth is much harder and it is our commitment to help you avoid this outcome wherever possible. Gum disease is a progressive disease that’s often linked to poor oral hygiene. It is important to be aware of it because it can creep up on you steadily until the point of no return.
Gum disease is caused when bacteria in the mouth breaks down the tissues that surround the tooth, leaving the root exposed and at risk of decay. Bacteria usually thrive when there is an excessive build up of plaque on the teeth due to poor oral care, but can also be exacerbated by an over active immune system.
Even if you keep your teeth really clean and floss regularly, you will still get a build up of plaque and bacteria, which is why it is important to have a regular professional clean. Signs to look out for are bleeding gums and bad breath. Smokers are at particular risk.
There are also further health implications to consider with the progression of gum disease. Ongoing inflammation in gums and jaws can allow the infection in your mouth to enter the bloodstream and travel to vital organs such as the heart, putting them under stress.
New studies show that fat deposits in stroke sufferers’ bodies often contain bacteria from the mouth. Gum disease has also been implicated in premature births and identified as an additional risk factor for diabetics.
Gum disease is usually treatable but at the very least it’s controllable. This is why we insist on the importance of maintaining a healthy cleaning regime at home and on regular check ups with us, where we can examine your mouth, monitor any changes and clean your teeth professionally. Children should also be routinely checked for gum disease.