Gum / Periodontal Disease


Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums supporting the teeth. The bacteria produce substances called endotoxins, which can damage the gums. The gums, in trying to defend themselves from these endotoxins can cause the destruction of the bone and the tissues that supporting the teeth. Different bacteria have different effects on the gums, some being relatively harmless and other causing more destruction.. The longer bacterial colonies are in contact with your gums then there is a greater chance of there being the more harmful bacteria present. There is also a vast difference between the amount of gum disease and bone loss that different patients get.

This appears to be largely dependant on your genetic makeup. Some patients are not prone to getting gum disease and others are highly susceptible to the disease with bleeding gums and early loss of the bone supporting the teeth. The major risk factor in gum disease is smoking or a history of smoking. There is however evidence that stressful events can cause the start of gum disease. Treatment of gum disease is in essence very basic, patients must maintain a level of brushing and cleaning that is compatible with their susceptibility to gum disease. Where the disease has progressed underneath the gum then this usually requires the teeth to be thoroughly cleaned by a dentist or hygienist.

To prevent gum disease all adolescents and adults should follow a dental health regime including:

  • Not smoke
  • Not use smokeless tobacco (eg paan, chewing tobacco, gutkha)
  • Brush teeth systematically twice daily
  • Use a manual brush with a small head and round end filaments, a compact, angled arrangement of long and short filaments and a comfortable handle or a powered toothbrush with an oscillating/rotating head
  • Consider using toothpastes containing triclosan with copolymer, or triclosan with zinc citrate (Toothpastes with stannous fluoride may reduce inflammation of the gums)
  • Clean interdentally using interdental brushes or floss For interdental cleaning, the choice of aid (floss, tape, sticks, single tufted brush) should be based on the size of the gap in-between the teeth and the ability of the patient to clean with the particular aid.
  • Maintain good dietary practices
  • Increase fruit and vegetable intake to at least five portions per day
  • Reduce alcohol consumption to moderate (recommended) levels

To book a dental health consultation at our Lymm, Warrington Dentist please call 01925 758 616 Now.

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