Are YOU at Risk ?
Gum disease . . . it’s often looked upon as an embarrassing inconvenience we have to put up with. After all, most people don’t class it as a “real” disease at all.
Well it’s time to think again because gum disease has been linked with . . .
Periodontal disease is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease. However, warning signs of periodontal disease can include the following:
Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
Gum disease is caused by plaque
Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to be the main cause of gum disease. To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and flossing.
It is now known that the bacteria go straight to the bloodstream and are now known to be “independent factors” in causing heart disease – even if the person is fit and healthy.
Professor Howard Jenkinson from the University of Bristol, working with the Royal College of Surgeons, made the discovery after examining how blood cells are affected by harmful bacteria.
Professor Jenkinson said: “Cardiovascular disease is currently the biggest killer in the Western world.
Oral bacteria such as Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus sanguinis are common infecting agents, and we now recognise that bacterial infections are an independent risk factor for heart diseases. In other words it doesn’t matter how fit, slim or healthy you are, you’re adding to your chances of getting heart disease by having bad teeth.”
The findings suggest why antibiotics do not always work in the treatment of infectious heart disease.
Researchers have found that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease
Gum Disease Fact & Fallacy
FALLACY: Tooth loss is a natural part of aging.
FACT: With good oral hygiene and regular professional care, your teeth are meant to last a lifetime.
FALLACY: People who have gum disease are “dirty” and don’t brush their teeth.
FACT: Research proves that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease. Also many people brush regularly, but have a poor technique; others have excellent brushing techniques but are unaware that their dietary habits are affecting their gum health.
FALLACY: Gum disease is a minor infection.
FACT: The amount of tissue in the mouth is equivalent to the skin on your arm from the wrist to the elbow. If this area was red, swollen and infected, you would visit the doctor. Gum disease is not a small infection as well as possible changes in your appearance, breath, and ability to chew food; potentially overall health can be affected too.
FALLACY: Bleeding gums are normal.
FACT: Gums should not bleed; think of gum tissue as the skin on your hand. If your hands bled every time you washed them, you would know something is wrong and you would seek professional help to do something about it.
How we Can Help . . .
The dentists, hygienists and nurses at Hilltop Dental Spa are aware of the very real health problems that can be associated with gum disease and that is why we carefully examine your gums every six months and record our findings.
Our gum health charts measure the depth of the pockets around each individual tooth.
A pocket is the gap between the side of your tooth and the surrounding gum; the deeper the pocket the more likelihood of debris and bacteria collecting in the pocket.
Untreated pockets of more than 3mm or more can lead to gum disease.
By monitoring these pockets twice yearly we can advise you on any deterioration or improvement.
We may recommend you see a dental hygienist every six months for professional cleaning to remove plaque deposits from between the teeth and under the gums, the hygienist can also give you great advice on brushing and flossing techniques to help your teeth and gums and dietary advice.
A hygienist appointment for maintenance and routine care is usually 20 minutes long; for those needing a little more help 30 minute appointments are available; and up to an hour for those who have the greatest need.
Some patients may require 2 or even 3 visits initially to get the disease under control, but by following the hygienist’s advice on home care this soon settles and bi-yearly visits are enough to keep the disease from re-occurring.