Gingivitis, more commonly known as gum disease, has been suggested to affect 45% of the adult population in the UK. So, you should feel no embarrassment if you too have noticed swollen, red or even bleeding gums – it’s much more common than you might think. Rest assured that our dentist in St Albans is here with our top tips to fight off disease.
Firstly, why is it so important to treat gum disease if so many of us have it?
Gingivitis eventually attacks the bones that hold your teeth in place, and when a significant amount of bone has been destroyed, your teeth will begin to feel loose or wobbly. Once more bone is lost, your teeth will begin to drift or fall out – losing teeth can cause issues with self-esteem and, more practically, digesting food.
How do you recognise the symptoms?
The early symptoms of gum disease are red and swollen gums and bleeding after brushing or flossing. The later stages can include bad breath, an unpleasant taste in your mouth, loose teeth or pus under your gums.
It’s worth knowing that gum disease isn’t always painful or visible, so you could be suffering without knowing. This is why you should attend regular checkups with our dentist in St Albans – we can confirm whether you need gum disease treatment and support.
How is gum disease treated?
Our dentist in St Albans can provide you with a scale and polish to remove plaque and tartar (hard plaque); this is a professional clean and will likely be performed by a dental hygienist. Hygienists specialise in improving patients’ dental health, and our dentists will be able to provide you with personalised advice for your case post-appointment as your oral hygiene may require improvement.
In the treatment of gum disease, you will also need to brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes before bed and again in the morning. You must pay particular attention to the gums and space between each tooth; people often neglect to brush their gums and focus more on the tooth, and this is a mistake. We would always recommend flossing once a day alongside brushing, and you will also need to use toothpaste that contains the right amount of fluoride. You could purchase a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine or hexetidine, which contain antiseptics; however, this will not treat gum disease alone, you need to be using a triple action to fix the root cause.
How do I keep gum disease away?
Once you’ve done the work and reversed the damage, you may be wondering how to keep those beautiful pink gums clean and healthy. Well firstly, if you have a history of smoking, work towards cutting down and quitting as this will help you greatly. It’s important to continue brushing twice a day and flossing once a day to prevent another build-up of plaque and tartar. And, of course, don’t forget to make regular visits to us at UK Dental Specialists to ensure that your smile is still shining bright.