Plaque – everyone has heard about the importance of brushing, flossing and using mouth wash to keep this dental pest at bay, but why is it such a problem?
The short answer is that plaque causes gum disease – and gum disease if left untreated can result in the loss of teeth. In fact, gum disease is so serious it is the main cause of tooth loss in the UK.
However, the good news is it’s easy to keep plaque in check and there are plenty of 19warning signs to alert people to the presence of gum disease in their mouths.
Swollen gums, a sore mouth and, the main giveaway, blood when brushing your teeth are a good indication that you are suffering from gum disease.
But before alarm bells start going off, it is worth noting that gum disease is a widespread problem that affects 3 out of 4 adults aged over 35.
And rather than being a health lottery there are plenty of measures each and every one of us can take to keep our gums healthy and disease-free.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
- Bleeding when brushing teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen, sore gums
- Bad breath
- Inflamed/ irritated gums
- Teeth feeling loose
The early stages of gum disease are known as gingivitis. It is caused when bacteria from plaque, which takes the form of a sticky film on teeth, is not cleaned away and gets trapped between teeth. This bacteria can cause gums to swell and recede, creating gaps. If this becomes serious enough teeth can become lose and eventually fall out.
How to prevent and treat gum disease
The best way to avoid – and treat – gum disease is by following a thorough brushing routine. Brushing teeth twice a day and flossing at least once should help to rid gums of gingivitis.
Specialist mouthwashes can also be used, while a professional ‘deep clean’ by a dentist will remove stubborn plaque that is resistant to brushing. Maintaining this daily dental routine should help to prevent repeat occurrences of gum disease.
Once gum disease has reached a serious stage where bacteria has infiltrated the bones supporting teeth it becomes known as periodontitis and needs specialist care.
A periodontist will attempt to remove deep-seated plaque, while antibiotics and even surgery could be needed to control such serious gum disease.
And don’t smoke – smoking is responsible for half of all cases of gum disease.
Don’t let daily brushing become a chore, take care of your teeth and they will take care of you.
Worried about gum disease? Contact Bhandal Dentistry for advice.