The major cause of early tooth loss in adults. Its prevention is essential
Gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis, is caused by bacteria in the mouth and is the major cause of early tooth loss in adults. Its prevention is essential.
It has also been scientifically shown that there is a link between gum disease and heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
Gum disease is usually the result of poor oral hygiene and irregular dental attendance
However, it can also often run in families, and lifestyle factors such as smoking have a massive effect on the disease progression.
It affects approximately 80-85% of the population and is caused by plaque gathering around the gum margins of teeth. Plaque hardens after 24 hours and forms tartar, which over time will cause both the gum and bone around teeth to shrink, causing teeth to become loose and sometimes even fall out!
Some early signs of gum disease
Some early signs of gum disease are bleeding gums whilst tooth brushing or eating, bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, swollen gums and occasionally painful gums.
Gum disease can be easily treated by tooth brushing at least twice per day and using dental floss or interdental brushes once a day. This will help to keep the plaque build up around teeth to a minimum.
In addition, we would recommend regular visits, ie. every 3 to 6 months, to the dentist or hygienist. This will enable the tartar that builds up to be removed from around the teeth on a regular basis. Research has shown that patients who attend regularly for their “scale and polish” with the dentist or hygienist are much more likely to avoid losing their teeth due to gum disease.