Our Bristol dental team offers advice about caring for your gums
Gum disease, it is thought, is one of the biggest causes of tooth loss. This may come as a surprise to many people who, quite naturally, presume that the major cause is actual decay of the tooth itself. Gum disease though, is a progressive problem which, if detected early enough, can be treated very simply, sometimes purely by improving the cleaning regime and leaving no residual problems. If left though, it can even lead to periodontitis, where the bone that holds the teeth in place come under attack, threatening the teeth themselves.
We will cover the available treatments in a future blog, but, as prevention is better than cure, we felt that it would be useful to suggest ways in which gum disease can be avoided in the first place.
Clean Your Teeth Well
It should go without saying that cleaning your teeth is key to good oral health and this applies to gum disease too. Ensuring that you brush your teeth as soon after meals as is possible is ideal as this then gives less time for the bacteria that cause gum disease to build up, and feed on, the sugars from the food that you have eaten. Even if it is not possible to brush your teeth immediately, drinking a glass of water will help to remove at least some of the food that will otherwise remain in your mouth, possibly for a lengthy period of time.
Whether you use a standard or electric toothbrush is largely a matter of preference, but you should ensure that you replace the brush, or head, at least every three months to ensure that the bristles are sufficiently able to remove any plaque from your teeth.
Approximately only 20% of people in the UK floss their teeth; this is a disaster waiting to happen as much gum disease originates between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Although we do appreciate that it can be tricky at first, it is worth persevering with, but, if you really find that you struggle to floss, you may care to consider interdental sticks or water picks which do a similar job.
The bacteria that cause gum disease love a warm and dry environment. This is exactly the environment that occurs when we have a dry mouth and this often occurs when we sleep. If you are a mouth breather, a smoker or have diabetes, you are particularly likely to suffer from having a dry mouth. Try to ensure that you are fully hydrated before going to sleep as this will help to prevent this from happening.
Finally, you should make sure that you visit our Bristol dental practice on a regular basis. Although some signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums are fairly obvious, others are not and can be hidden in areas where the patient can’t see them. By having regular check ups, any early signs of gum disease can be detected and treated easily and without the need for invasive procedures which are needed when gum disease reaches its more advanced stages.
To arrange for a checkup at Beau Monde Dental Care, please contact us on 0117 330 3495, or, if you are in the area, please call into our reception area in Westbury Park.Google+