A healthy mouth is one of the most visible signs of overall health. A regular visit to a dental hygienist for thorough & professional cleaning is important for maintaining the appearance & well-being of your teeth, improving not just the condition of your teeth & gums, but also your self-confidence.
At Friar street dental Practice , we can give you advice on how to prevent gum (periodontal) disease, bleeding gums & dental decay. Regular visits to your dentist & hygienist will ensure that any problems are identified quickly so that you can stop gum disease in its tracks.
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frequently asked questions
What is gum disease?Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults however; because gum disease is usually painless, you may not even know you have it.
Although most individuals suffer gum inflammation from time to time, according to research around 10-15% of the population appear to suffer from the more severe forms of the disease, which causes loss of supporting bone. This group of people appears to be at greatest risk of losing teeth through periodontal disease.
What are the causes of gum disease?The main cause of gum disease is the formation of dental plaque, which is a sticky film on the tooth surface. The bacteria contained in plaque release toxins that can damage the gums. If plaque is allowed to accumulate, it causes inflammation of the surface of the gums which is known as 'Gingivitis'. This inflammation will resolve if the plaque is removed through cleaning of the teeth and no permanent damage is done.
As the amount of plaque increases it can begin to mineralise and form tartar (calculus). Such hard deposits have a rough surface and allow more plaque to form and cause further damage to the gums.
If plaque accumulates for a long time the changes it causes in the gums can lead to loss of the bone support, a condition known as 'Periodontitis'.
How do I know if I have gum disease?The signs and symptoms of periodontal disease are variable but may include reddening and swelling of the gums, gums that bleed on brushing, gums that have pulled away from the teeth together with evidence of loose teeth, a bad taste in the mouth and possibly also bad breath. However, because pain is rarely a symptom until the disease is at an advanced stage, it is possible to you might be unaware of any changes.
It is advisable to attend a general dental practitioner regularly so that special assessment techniques to detect changes in the gums, sometimes including x-rays, can be carried out as part of your routine dental examination.