An encouraging four out of five adults believe that prevention is highly critical to dental health. This is according to survey results released by Simply Health in a latest research study. A large percentage (84 per cent) of the respondents credited proactive oral hygiene behaviours, such as taking careful care of teeth and gums, as being highly influential in averting expensive dental treatments. One such costly treatment is gum surgery to address the symptoms of gum disease.Gum disease, if not detected early and treated, is responsible for a range of oral problems from gum recession to tooth loss.
It is more common for patients to place a stronger emphasis on keeping teeth clean, they often forget that looking after their gums is just as crucial. It is important to remember that healthy teeth are heavily dependent on healthy gums to remain in optimal condition.
Symptoms of gum disease to look out for
Signs of gum disease may be slight to begin with. Patients should be extra vigilant when examining their gums themselves. Concerning symptoms to look out for include the following occasions:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Sensitive painful gums (for more than a week)
- Loose or mobile teeth
- Pockets opening up between teeth and gums
- Gum depth loss (teeth may all of a sudden appear larger in size)
- Pus at the gum line
- Dental appliances such as bridges not fitting comfortably
- Discomfort when chewing
The positive takeaway message for a patient with gum disease is that this dental condition is treatable and, in many cases, reversible. Gum disease is a progressive disease and should a patient notice a problem, seeking treatment from a dentist in Southgate is the first proactive step to take.
Risk factors that increase the likelihood of gum disease
It is useful for patients to be aware of some of the common risk factors that promote the development of gum problems. There are a variety of situations where these can occur:
- Using certain medications such as birth control medications and antidepressants
- The ageing process
- Teeth clenching
- Poor diet
- Medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes
How patients can prevent gum disease
In addition to seeking professional dental care, there are other steps that will help prevent problems developing with the gums. Some of these are clear cut such as using proper brushing techniques and effective flossing techniques that successfully dislodge trapped food particles, to more oblique steps such as:
- Quitting smoking.
- Ensuring the right toothpaste is used to clean the mouth.
- Rinsing out the mouth with a dentist-recommended therapeutic mouthwash.
- Being careful about diet by increasing food types such as high fibre vegetables (good for cleaning out the mouth) and dairy products (for their calcium content) while reducing sugar consumption.
- Replacing a toothbrush that is more than four months old.
- Increasing saliva production by hydrating with water and chewing gum (sugar-free).
Schedule a dental check-up or book a gum screening today at a dental practice and prevent unnecessary invasive and costly treatments down the line. It is far better to have even a small oral health concern seen to – than to live with regrets.