Gum disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone around the teeth and is the most common reason for tooth loss. Gums become red, swollen and bleed in the presence of the bacteria in dental plaque. Many people have gum disease which has never been diagnosed or treated. What's more, gum disease is linked to diabetes and to heart disease
The symptoms of gum (periodontal) disease include:
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing teeth or eating hard food such as an apple
- Red, swollen or painful gums
- Receding gums
- Loose or separating teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Persistent 'strange' taste in the mouth
Who is at risk of gum disease?
Whilst plaque is the main cause of gum disease, some people are more susceptible than others.
- Family history - some people may be genetically susceptible to gum disease despite exemplary oral hygiene.
- Smoking - smoking poses one of the most significant risk factors in developing periodontal disease.
- Stress - stress can make it harder for the body to fight off infection, the cause of gum inflammation.
- Age - Older people have the highest rates of periodontal disease.
- Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis interfere with the body's inflammatory system which in turn worsens the condition of the gums.
What should I do if I think I have the disease?
The most important thing to do is to attend regular check-ups with your dentist. You may also need to see our Specialist Periodontist and Tracey or Nick, our hygienists, for specific deep cleaning in order to stabilise the health of your gums and for ongoing maintenance. Below are the before and after photos of a new patient of ours who made a huge improvement in her oral health by careful cleaning at home following a course of periodontal treatment with Tracey.
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