Gum (periodontal) disease affects almost the entire population but because it rarely causes pain or other symptoms, will often go un-noticed until it is quite advanced. The severity varies quite dramatically both between individuals and also between different areas of the mouth. Unfortunately, some people are naturally more likely to suffer gum disease than others but there are things everyone can do to minimise the risk. These are:
– Be fantastic at keeping your teeth clean – and plaque-free.
– Avoid smoking (the effect of vaping has not, as yet, been established).
– Minimise stress.
– Maintain a healthy diet.
A number of other factors can have an effect. For example, those who suffer with diabetes are more likely to have advanced gum disease and certain medicines used to treat other illnesses can increase the incidence.
Gum disease is divided mainly into two categories:
Gingivitis – redness and swelling of the gums which would be more likely to bleed when brushing or possibly eating hard foods.
Periodontitis – a break down of the connection between gum and tooth and also a loss of the bony support around the teeth.
Gingivitis can be cured completely but once the connection and bone loss of periodontitis has occurred, it cannot be regained (without surgery) and so treatment is aimed at stopping or at least minimising further loss.
Connections between the severity of gum disease and other illnesses, perhaps most importantly heart disease and dementia have been discovered and although a true cause/effect relationship has not been worked out it is clear that maintaining a healthy mouth is a key factor in your overall health.
If you have questions about any of the above please ask Nick or Jayne at your next appointment.