Gum Disease

Gum Disease

Everyone has bacteria in their mouth, but certain people are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Often, you cannot tell that you have gum disease unless you have been assessed by a dentist or hygienist, as it rarely causes pain since the infection travels up through the gums. At the practice, our dentists are experts at diagnosing and treating gum disease and their treatment success rate is extremely high.

Over time, pieces of food and bacteria can collect between the teeth and gums. If these are not properly removed by brushing and flossing, then the food can travel deeper under the gum line causing a space to develop between the tooth and gum. The trapped bacteria inflame the gum tissues and slowly destroy the supporting jawbone. As the bone tissue deteriorates, the teeth will decay and loosen, and if left untreated, will eventually fall out.

Not only are your teeth at risk, but ongoing bacterial infection in the mouth can lead to serious health problems elsewhere in your body. When your gums are chronically inflamed, the bacteria can enter into your bloodstream and spread to other parts of your body. Some conditions that have been linked to gum disease include: diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, pre-term births in pregnant women and heart disease. It appears that up to 50% of heart attacks are triggered by oral pathogens. Plus an oral bacteria called P.gingivalis raises the risk of a heart attack by 13.6 times – that’s twice the risk of a heavy smoker!

It’s easy to prevent gum disease by having regular hygiene appointments and check-ups with your dentist. The hygienist removes hardened plaque, which forms over time above and below the gums and cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. Mervyn, Leonard and Ken recommend that you visit the hygienist for a comprehensive clean four times a year (every three months).

The good news is that the progression of gum disease can be stopped if the bacteria are properly removed from the pockets with aggressive and frequent treatment at the practice.

People with the following risk factors are more susceptible to developing gum disease:

  • Smokers
  • Overweight
  • Post-menopausal
  • Family history of gum disease
  • Diabetic
  • Arthritis

Call the practice today on 020 7722 1235 if you have any of the symptoms below to be assessed by our dentists for gum disease:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Pain or sores in your mouth
  • Bleeding of the gums while brushing, flossing or eating
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gums that are receding (pulling away) from the teeth, making the teeth look longer
  • Loose or separating teeth