Hygiene

Gum Health

Gum disease affects most people at some time in their lives.

Gum disease is caused by a build up of plaque on the tooth surface, specifically on the part of the tooth next to the gum. Plaque is a sticky material containing the natural bacteria that live in your mouth and uses the sugar you eat to make more plaque. It is constantly forming in your mouth and will start to form on a clean tooth surface as soon as you eat or drink sugary substances.

Gum disease is your bodies’ response to plaque and is an inflammatory healing response.

Gum disease is mainly divided into 2 stages

  • Gingivitis- inflammation, bleeding and possible swelling of the gum tissue around your teeth. When brushing your teeth you may feel some pain in your gums along with bleeding.
  • Periodontitis- is an advanced form of gum disease that may occur if the issue of gingivitis is not addressed or treated.
    Advancing periodontitis will cause a shrinkage and loss of the gum and bone that support your teeth. Pockets between the tooth root surface and gum can occur that causes more plaque to form that is then more difficult to clean away. In severe cases this can lead to the teeth becoming loose leading to the need for extraction.

Smoking and poorly controlled diabetes can be risk factors in the control and treatment of gum disease.

The signs and symptoms of periodontitis include

  • Bleeding and swollen gums
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath and/or taste
  • Tenderness when biting
  • Loose or moving teeth

We will encourage the prevention of gum disease as the treatment of periodontitis can be difficult to treat. It is important to remove plaque on all surfaces of your teeth at least two times a day.

Other things to prevent gum disease include

  • Avoid sugary drinks and food, particularly between meals
  • Drink plenty of water (fluoridated where possible)
  • Quit smoking with help from Public Health Wales at helpmequit@wales.nhs, Freephone 0808 2504116
  • For people with diabetes, keeping blood sugar levels well-controlled will help reduce the risk of gum disease.

Seeing your Dentist and Hygienist regularly for check ups will help reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Early intervention will improve the treatment of gum disease but if you have swollen and bleeding gums please contact us for an appointment.

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