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Gum Disease

Healthy gums, healthy teeth

Around three quarters of adults in the UK are affected by some form of gum (periodontal) disease. While some people are more aware of the signs and symptoms, others notice nothing at all. Often it can be very difficult to tell that you even have gum disease and as a result, it is the main cause of tooth loss, even rivalling tooth decay.

What causes gum disease?

Every day, no matter how well we brush, plaque gradually builds on the surface of our teeth and gums. As time passes, this plaque begins to harden, eventually turning into tartar. When tartar is left on the teeth, your gums begin to react and may start to look inflamed or feel irritated. Often they can change colour becoming a darker pink or red.

Your body naturally starts to fight off this unwanted presence, attacking the plaque to remove it. However, in a number of patients an overreaction causes it to also attack the bone and tissue holding the tooth in place. If enough time passes without any treatment, the bone can erode completely, causing the tooth to fall out.

The best way to protect yourself from the development of gum disease is with regular dental and hygienist appointments. Our experienced team will fully inspect your teeth and gums at every check-up, looking out for the tell-tale signs of gum disease. If we have any concerns at all we‘ll discuss them with you, giving you advice on the best way to improve the problem.

What are the signs of gum disease?

Don’t assume that gum disease will always cause pain. In the early stages you may notice no symptoms at all. It can be very hard to spot until it has become advanced. One of the most common signs is bleeding in the gums and/or bad breath which usually indicates the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis.

It is important to treat any symptoms early to avoid the development of potentially serious issues like a gum abscess or tooth loss.

If you do notice any of the following, or have any other concerns please visit your dentist or hygienist as soon as possible:

How is gum disease treated?

If you do have gum disease, a deep clean (debridement) under the gums will be required to remove bacterial build up. The hygiene team at Cavendish Dental have the skill to deal with advanced cases of gum disease but do bear in mind that although the symptoms of gum disease can be managed and improved, the damage to your gums can never be undone. We have helped many patients to control their gum disease and protected their otherwise healthy teeth from further damage.

Any deep clean treatment will be conducted under a local anaesthetic for your comfort. Following this, you will be given instructions on how to clean more effectively around the teeth and gums using toothbrushes and interdental aids.

If your gum disease is particularly advanced we may to refer you to a specialist periodontist who can provide expert treatment to maintain the health of your teeth and gums in the long-term.

Preventing gum disease

Although it is not possible to cure gum disease once you have it, there are many ways we can treat it. It’s important to spot gum disease early to offer the best chance of saving your teeth. Follow these tips for gum disease prevention:

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