Gum disease is a very common condition, estimated to affect more than half of all adults in the UK.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a serious bacterial infection that destroys the tissues that support teeth and hold them in place. Early signs are red, swollen gums that bleed easily, but are not normally painful. This early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis.
Gingivitis can be prevented or reversed by having regular hygiene appointments, supported with efficient teeth cleaning routines at home.
Spot the warning signs of gum disease
Red, swollen, bleeding or receding gums
Bigger gaps between the teeth, loose teeth
Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
Sensitivity to cold food and drink
As periodontal disease is usually pain free, it is often undiscovered until you visit your dentist or dental hygienist, which is why regular check-ups are essential.
Prevent gum disease
Clean between your teeth every day with an interdental brush or floss
Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, with a fluoride toothpaste
Avoid smoking, eat a healthy diet high in fruit and vegetables and low in sugar, and exercise
Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly, as often as they recommend
Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
Research demonstrates that, with regular supportive care and good plaque control, many teeth that have gum disease can be treated and maintained for many years.
Manoj Tank is the Specialist in periodontics and Hans-Dieter John is the periodontal and implant surgeon at Elmsleigh House Dental Clinic based in Farnham. Both are highly qualified and experienced to identify and treat all forms of gum disease, working closely with the clinic’s hygienist team.