Our teeth are a fundamental part of our overall appearance, giving us the confidence to welcome the world with a smile. Because a good smile is such an integral part of our beauty-conscious culture, persuading people to spend money on products and treatments to make their teeth whiter, brighter and ‘healthier’ is easy. But your teeth are not the only component of a healthy smile. Healthy gums are an essential but all too often over-looked part of the mix. Minor symptoms, for example bleeding gums, tend to get overlooked and dismissed as “unimportant”, when in fact, they can be one of the early signs of gum disease and, as such, far more important than most people realise. Read More
Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, can be a major turn off and can even cause lower self-esteem because it makes you conscious of how close you get to people and how you interact in your social life. Since dealing with it means you need to address the root cause for lasting results, finding out the underlying cause of your bad breath is paramount. It is also important to note that bad breath has been identified as an underlying symptom of other more serious diseases, which, left untreated go far beyond the embarrassment and discomfort of having a bad taste in the mouth. Read More
The most recent adult dental health survey (2009), the results of which were published by the Telegraph under the heading “Why not brushing your teeth can kill you” has shown that a staggering 83% of adults in the UK have some form of gum disease. Similar figures have been published in other countries.
Woah, let’s stop right there, rewind, and play that statistic again. “83% of adults in the UK have some form of gum disease”… Really? Sadly, yes. That means the overwhelming majority of us therefore have gum disease or will suffer from it at some pont in the future. Yet for the most part we are blissfully unaware of it because it has few, if any, symptoms. A bit of bleeding, a bit of sensitivity while brushing our teeth, a bit of tenderness here and there. Nothing that exactly rings alarm bells or sends us scuttling off to the dentist or hygienist for treatment.
And that is where a good part of the problem lies. Because for the most part, this insidious mostly painless condition that erodes away the foundations of the teeth and ends up with them moving about, getting loose, forming abscesses, and ultimately tooth loss, does not cause enough symptoms for us to seek treatment until it is too late, and major dental reparative work or tooth loss are inevitable.
But that is only the tip of the iceberg! When we have a chronic low-grade infections like periodontal disease continuously eroding away at the tissues in our mouths, cascades of “messenger molecules” are secreted from the cells that are being affected by the infection, that alert the rest of the body to the presence of a damaging process going on somewhere in the body. Increasingly, published papers are demonstrating that the effects on the rest of the body are far reaching, affecting our recovery from heart and other diseases, outcomes from pregnancy, and the progression of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, bowel disease (including IBS, cancer, and many others,) meningitis, and even strokes and other serious life-threatening conditions.
As more and more research is showing that this quietly ongoing infection of the gums has far reaching and sometimes even life-threatening effects throughout the body, we need to take it far more seriously than we currently do.
Most of us would say we go and have regular dental check ups. However, as the overwhelming majority of us have been proven to have some form of gum disease, and given that the condition comes and goes with periods of activity and non-activity, one of the most important reasons for going to see your dentist and/or your hygienist regularly is not to have your teeth checked to see if you need any fillings, but most importantly, to have your gums checked to make sure that you do not have underlying gum disease affecting not only your mouth health but also your general health and compromising your immune system’s ability keep you healthy.
Unfortunately, not all dentists or hygienists do periodontal examinations routinely, so when you go to your checkup please specify that you want your gums checked, and you want a print out of the results of the periodontal checkup for your records because, if you change dentist/hygienists at some time, it is always good to have these records yourself to share with your new dentist and/or hygienist, and to check yourself that the condition is not getting worse with time.
You never know, but you may just be saving yourself from a major medical disaster in the future!
For more information on the diagnosing and treating gum disease, please go to: http://Periodontal.co.uk
Gum disease is a common problem that can indicate the presence of a serious underlying infection. Latest studies have linked this disease to other serious health concerns such as stroke, diabetes, heart disease and other degenerative ailments. If you’re suffering from gum disease, be advised that the treatment is not just about how often you clean your teeth. Quickly identifying the signs of gum disease is the first step along the way to initiating treatment and finding the best gum disease treatment for you. It is important to do this as early as possible before the condition worsens.
A lot of people fear gum disease because naturally the effects can be disfiguring. This can affect your confidence to smile in public, which in turn can cause some people to suffer from lower self-confidence and self-esteem. The disease causes your gums to become swollen, red and they will tend to bleed very easily. Spaces between your teeth can then develop and the ultimate fear (and eventuality, if you ignore the symptoms and leave them untreated) is that the disease will become so severe, it will eventually compel you to undergo teeth extraction.
Contacting a gum disease expert in good time is the first step in successfully dealing with the problem. Caught in the early stages, the disease need not cause any lasting damage. A good specialist will be able to help you with the best course of gum disease treatment, and it is important you contact them as early as possible to minimise the damage to your teeth and the underlying bone structure. Left untreated, the disease will start to eat away at the roots of your teeth and this is when the effects become irreversible. The place to start is by contacting your own dentist. A reputable dentist should advise that you undergo a gum disease screening at least once a year as part of your regular checkups.
What are the signs of gum disease?
Here are ten classic signs you may be suffering from gum disease:
1) When you brush your teeth, you notice the presence of red or pink tinge appearing on your toothbrush.
2) Having a taste of blood in your mouth or other peculiar tastes
3) The gums particularly those located between your teeth become swollen, bruised or tender
4) The presence of blood in your mouth or teeth especially in the morning after waking up
5) Pain or difficulties to remove food from some spots around your teeth
6) Teeth become loose
7) Your teeth begin to change positions or drift out of alignment
8) Your gums become swollen, in some cases, pus develops around the gums
9) Temperature changes cause increased teeth sensitivity
10) Receding gums
It’s important to note that these symptoms may not all occur at the same time, however, most of them manifest in the early stages of the disease.
Although the above symptoms of gum disease are easy to spot, many people ignore them, thinking they will go away or sort themselves out with time. This is not the case. As a gum disease expert myself, specialising in non-surgical correction of periodontitis and gum disease, I cannot stress enough how important early detection and gum disease treatment is to the overall prognosis of the disease. The good news is that this condition can be fully treated, without painful surgery, and you can attain full recovery and regain a totally healthy set of teeth. However, only if you seek early medical attention.
Your dentist will probably be the best person to advise you on the early signs, however, for more advanced cases, gum disease treatment is best administered by a dental expert who specialises in periodontitis.
How to treat signs of gum disease
Once the dentist has confirmed your early stage symptoms, gum disease treatment begins. However, the treatment administered depends on the stage of the disease. Common treatment options include;
- – Advising patients to observe good oral habits
- – Scaling to remove plaque
- – Use of anti-biotic treatments
- – Tooth cleaning
- – Grafting
- – Tooth extraction or repairing bone damage
- – Surgery
Your periodontist or gum disease specialist will be able to advise you on the best method of gum disease treatment for you, depending on the diagnosis and the extent of damage.
If you need further advice or are worried about any of the above signs of gum disease, ask your dentist to refer you to a specialist periodontist or gum disease expert. Alternatively, I offer a telephone consulting service, you are welcome to get in touch directly with myself. To find out more about my services, or to contact me, visit www.periodontal.co.uk/patients/
Remember, don’t ignore the early signs of the disease and get in contact with your dentist or a specialist gum disease expert as soon as you can so that no lasting damage is caused to your teeth or gums.