It’s the inaugural International Perio Awareness Day on Thursday, May 12th and we want to use this opportunity to give all of our patients some more information on what periodontal (gum) disease is and the steps you can take to avoid it.
What’s really important to note is gum disease isn’t just something that affects our Oral Health. It can have a huge impact on our overall health and wellbeing. The latest research and evidence has found that in cases of severe gum disease, bacteria from the disease’s pockets under the gums enter the bloodstream and trigger low levels of inflammation throughout the body. This can increase the risk of developing heart disease due to our arteries becoming clogged and blocked over time.
Alongside this, severe gum disease can also make diabetes harder to control or increase the complications of diabetes in the heart and kidneys. Conversely, high blood sugar levels in diabetes can make gum disease worse.
In short, having healthy gums is incredibly important to having good health! Here’s everything you need to know to have super-healthy gums:
- First and foremost, get brushing! The most effective thing you can do to prevent gingivitis and periodontitis is to remove the bacterial plaque from your teeth by brushing,
- You should brush twice a day (for a minimum of two minutes!): ideally before breakfast (and after if you wish to remove food from your teeth) and before bed, but allow about 30 minutes after you eat,
- If you want your gums to gleam, make sure you clean in between! Daily cleaning between your teeth using special “interdental” brushes is essential for treating and preventing gum disease. Floss is of little value unless the spaces between your teeth are too tight for the interdental bushes to fit without hurting or causing harm,
- Mouthwashes do offer some benefits alongside brushing, but should never be a substitute to brushing.
Please do get in touch with us if you need advice on any of the above. Our Dental Hygiene Team can advise you on the right type of brushes, the correct techniques to use and everything you need to do to keep your mouth healthy.
If you’re new to Hartley Dental, speak to us about our initial consultations which includes a 24-point oral health check with Dr Fox as well as a full treatment plan as a result of it.
Periodontitis is the 6th most prevalent disease throughout the world and, as we saw earlier, significantly linked to general well-being and longevity. It is often ‘silent’ and can be present for decades without diagnosis and treatment.
If you experience any pain or bleeding of the gums, contact your dentist straight away. Gum disease is completely preventable and treatment is generally effective, resulting in teeth for life, including greater confidence, self-esteem and quality of life.
International Perio Awareness Day is being run by the British Society of Periodontology. You can find out more about the initiative and ways you can get involved here – http://www.bsperio.org.uk/howsyoursmile/