Gum disease causes the majority of tooth loss cases in UK adults, with approximately 75% of adults suffering from it at one stage or another. It occurs as a result of a build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth. The earlier gum disease is caught, however, the more likely it is that your dentist will be able to help you halt the effects. And in order to do this, you’ll need to be aware of its causes and symptoms.
Gingivitis is a relatively mild stage of gum disease that results in gums that are red and/or swollen, which may bleed when you brush them. Other, less prevalent symptoms of gingivitis include bad breath, extreme temperature sensitivity and a metallic taste in the mouth. There are methods of preventing gingivitis from worsening, but ignoring these strategies could result in more severe types of gum disease, such as periodontitis, in which the swelling that originated in your gums may spread to the root bone of the teeth. This will eventually result in the teeth becoming loose from their roots and subsequently falling out.
In its early stages, gum disease can be stopped by adopting a more rigorous oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing regularly to remove plaque that builds both on and in between the teeth. Scaling at your Central London dental practice is also recommended, as it is particularly effective in the elimination of tartar, which is typically tougher than plaque and can rarely be removed by brushing alone. Mouthwashes containing chlorexidine—check the label—can also help combat plaque.
If your gum disease progresses beyond gingivitis, there are more thorough measures that can be taken, which range from antibiotics to laser surgery. However, adopting a scrupulous oral hygiene regime is imperative for preventing the necessity of such extreme methods.
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