Gum disease; what it is and how to prevent it

Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss. There is a persistent misunderstanding about tooth loss connected to age; there is no reason why teeth need to be lost as we grow older and the vast majority of teeth which are lost are as a result of untreated gum disease. This means that many people who currently accept tooth loss as an inevitability are failing to take steps to tackle the underlying condition that would allow them to preserve their teeth.

Let’s look at some of the very concrete steps you can take to preserve your teeth long into the future with a dentist Navan.

Accepting it as a possibility

If you do not consider this as a possibility and simply assume it will never happen to you, you dramatically increase the chances of tooth loss. By starting out from a position of blissful ignorance, you can overlook potential causes which can lead to gum disease and the loss of your teeth.

Reducing the opportunity for infection

Gums may just look like pink spongy things but there is a dense layer of skin that has developed in order to prevent them from becoming infected, in a warm wet environment often there is a very high bacterial load. With a build-up of plaque (which then calcifies) just above the gum this gives an environment for bacteria to proliferate; from there they can attack and enter the gum. Through diligent oral hygiene you can prevent plaque from building up or calcifying, thus stopping the opportunity for any further problems to develop.

Addressing the problem early

Full blown gum disease does not occur overnight, at least not severe enough to result in tooth loss; this typically occurs after a long period of gingivitis. Even when gum disease sets in, with sensitive soft patches of the gum becoming noticeable to you, this is still a relatively early stage of gum disease. Treatment at this stage with the aid of your local dentist would involve prescription high fluoride toothpaste and an increase in your oral hygiene routine and possibly a scale and polish to remove calcified plaque.

dental check up

Gingivitis in pregnancy

Gingivitis with a very rapid onset is a common minor complication of pregnancy and is caused by an increased permeability of the gums of the mother, due to hormonal changes during the third trimester. In spite of the obvious complexity of treating a pregnant patient, the rapid progress of pregnancy gingivitis does require treatment and failure to do so can easily result in gum disease and tooth loss. There are several treatments available which are completely safe to the unborn child, but you should see your local dentist in order to receive advice that is more tailored to you if you are experiencing gingivitis symptoms during pregnancy.

Smoking and gum disease

Smoking is a major factor in not only receding gums but also the permeability of gums, allowing commensal bacteria in the mouth to establish themselves in the gum tissue causing inflammation as they proliferate. If you are susceptible to gum disease or have started to experience receding gums, you should consider going to smoking cessation in order to minimise any future complications.

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