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09 / 06 / 2017

Gum Disease – A Major Risk To Your Teeth

Avoiding Gingivitis And Periodontitis

When most people think of dental care, they generally think about looking after their teeth. This is obviously important, but few people perhaps realise that gum disease is actually responsible for more tooth loss than tooth decay.
While decaying teeth can usually be restored using fillings or crowns here at your local Ipswich dentists, advanced gum disease means that there is a real risk that you may actually lose teeth.

There are, essentially, two key stages of gum disease; gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is quite common, and most of us will experience it at some time or another. This may be at a time when we are ill, for example, and pay less attention to cleaning our teeth. This allows the ‘sticky’ bacteria, sometimes known as plaque, to build up on our teeth and the gum line, leading to symptoms that might include sore or bleeding gums.

Periodontitis

If gingivitis is ignored and not treated, it is likely to advance to a stage known as periodontitis. This is much more serious and more difficult to treat. At this stage, not only the gums are affected, but also the jawbone which normally holds teeth securely in position. As the bacteria attack the bone, it starts to break down and eventually will no longer be capable of holding the teeth in place and tooth loss may occur.

Prevention

Preventing gum disease is relatively straightforward, although some groups, such as diabetics, are more prone to it and may need to be more proactive in keeping it at bay.

Brushing your teeth effectively is important, and you should always align your brush at an angle that allows just under the gum-line to be cleaned too. An area that many people fail to keep clean is the spaces between the teeth. Dental floss or inter-dental brushes are an effective means of cleaning away these areas of bacteria and food debris.

Finally, patients should keep regular dental hygienist appointments at our convenient Ipswich practice. Not only will the hygienist be able to offer advice to improve your oral health, but you will also receive a scale and polish which removes the hardened bacteria (tartar) which you may struggle to remove completely with your personal oral care regimen.

Treatment

If caught early, gingivitis can usually be reversed through an improved home cleaning regimen combined with regular scale and polishing. Where periodontitis has taken hold though, an advanced procedure, sometimes known as a ‘deep clean’ or root planing, needs to take place. This is not performed by the hygienist, but by a specialist dentist, and is significantly more invasive, involving cleaning deep down to the roots of the teeth. This procedure is performed using a local anaesthetic.

With regular visits to the Lighthouse Dental Practice, along with hygienist treatment and good home care, gum disease should be readily avoided.

To arrange an appointment to see either one of our experienced dentists or a dental hygienist, please call our Ipswich practice on 01473 257379.

We are here to help you.
If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team about any of the issues in this article please visit our contact page or call us on 01473 257379.

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk ...“

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a to...“

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my too...“

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not onl...“

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond ...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth ...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was una...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly pu...“

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