23 Feb

Break link between gum disease and plaque at City of London dentist

It’s a little known fact but gum disease is responsible for more lost teeth than tooth decay, yet so little focus is put on keeping our gums clean when compared to our teeth. Both varieties of gum disease, the milder gingivitis and the more serious periodontitis, are caused by a build up of plaque on the gums, releasing acid and gradually causing an infection.
We’re all aware of plaque but few of us realise exactly what it is. It is made up of a collection of bacteria and food matter that clings to the teeth and gums like a film. Gradually releasing acid from the decaying food and bacteria, it breaks down tooth enamel causing cavities and eroding gum tissue exposing it to infection. Gum disease is very common in the UK with over three quarters of adults experiencing gum disease at some point.
Gingivitis is the mild form of the disease which can be treated with more effective cleaning and some minor treatment from the dentist. Improved brushing and most importantly flossing will usually sort it out, but if plaque is allowed to continue to attack the gums it may worsen, eventually becoming periodontitis which is much more difficult to treat. In serious cases, periodontitis needs to be treated with anti-biotics, surgical tissue removal and even hospitalisation. It also commonly results in tooth loss and the spread of infection. With the recent research indicating a link between gum disease and heart disease it is important to prevent gum disease reaching these proportions. City of London dentists are trained to treat all forms of gum disease but can also be integral in its prevention with regular check ups.