One of the most common dental problems is gum disease, also known as gingivitis. This can be an irritating, or at times, very painful condition caused by an infection of the gums. If the infection is not treated it can lead to bleeding gums, tooth loss and further health complications such as heart disease.
As with all dental health, the first line of defence against gum disease is prevention. By brushing teeth for three minutes twice a day, with an appropriate brush and in the correct way you can significantly help to stop gum disease developing. A close second to brushing comes flossing. Flossing once a day not only cleans the areas between the teeth that regular brushes can’t reach, but also cleans below the gumline, which is a notorious place for the build up of plaque.
Your lifestyle can also affect how healthy your gums are. People who drink excessively or use tobacco products are far more likely to develop gum disease. Tobacco seriously affects the gums ability to heal themselves so it can be a major contributing factor to the onset of gingivitis.
These preventative measures help to control the build up of plaque, which is a bacteria rich, filmy substance that covers the surface of the teeth and gums and causes decay. If left, plaque turns into tartar, which also causes gum disease and is incredibly hard to remove. If gum disease is allowed to develop it becomes a more serious strain called periodontitis which can lead to tooth loss and further infection.
If a dentist discovers gingivitis, or periodontitis, he may prescribe anti-biotics to fight the infection. If the infection is too far developed they may be forced to remove some of the gum tissue in a process called a gingivectomy, or even extract the tooth itself.
It is also important to make regular six-month visits to your dentist. They will be able to spot the early onset of gum disease and treat it before it becomes a more serious problem. Gum disease can cause years of pain and costly dental procedures if not prevented or treated quickly. Make an appointment to see your central London dentist and have yourself examined for gum disease as soon as possible.