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Gum disease care

Why might I be susceptible?

Periodontal disease is the Number One cause of tooth loss amongst adults. This is because a certain number of people (15-20%) have immune systems that overreact to the bad bacteria in their mouths. When this overreaction occurs, the immune system attacks and breaks down the bone and tissue that surround the tooth. This destruction is not predictable and can occur sporadically. None of us knows if we are part of this 15-20% because we can't usually feel or notice the onset of gum and bone (periodontal) disease. Both adults and children should be routinely checked for gum disease.

Keeping your gums in shape

The role of the dentist and the hygienist in the prevention and control of gum disease is to clean the areas which you cannot reach and remove any tartar present. Tartar cannot be removed by normal tooth brushing. Additionally the dentist and hygienist will give advice on tooth brushing, how to clean between your teeth using floss and inter-dental brushes and the use of mouthwashes. They will also check your medical history to ascertain whether they are any medical conditions that might predispose to gum disease.

You are the key player on the hygiene team. If you don't carry out the essential homecare routine recommended by the dentist and hygienist it will be difficult to control the advancement of gum disease.

Keep in mind that healthy gums don't bleed. Gum disease is not curable, but it is treatable, and in most cases, controllable.

Are you living at high risk for gum disease?

Smoking: Numerous studies have shown that smokers have more gum disease. Smokers have increased levels of tartar in the mouth, and experience more tissue irritation, which makes their gums more susceptible to disease. Smokers have more bone loss and heal less quickly than non-smokers.

At our practice we encourage our clients to give up smoking. To help them with this we run FREE courses on how to stop smoking and we also have an experienced clinical hypnotherapist who has a success rate of 85% in helping his clients give up smoking.

When our immune system is stressed it is difficult to fight off the bacteria that cause gum infections.

Diabetics: This group of people are more likely to have gum disease than most people. This is because of the effects uncontrolled diabetes has on the immune system.

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