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Gum Disease: Symptoms & Prevention

Unlike other dental issues such as toothache or mouth ulcers, gum disease often starts off pain free and doesn’t show any immediate symptoms. Unfortunately, it is due to this that many people don’t identify that they have gum disease until late into the progression of the infection, meaning lasting damage has already been done to their gums. Gum disease is actually very common amongst adults in the UK but is usually a very minor case that can be treated with antibiotics and better oral health, however, if left to get worse it can be extremely damaging to your health. Gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene that leads to a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque contains a lot of bacteria, good and bad, which if left can build up and irritate your gums or at its worse cause tooth and bone loss.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

There are several symptoms of gum disease that go unnoticed and some that are more severe, here are all the symptoms you may be experiencing if you fear you have gum disease:

Red and sore gums that are tender to the touch

Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing

Bleeding when eating hard foods

Change in the appearance of your teeth

Receding gums

Loose teeth

Pockets of pus in between your gums and teeth

Mouth sours

Permanent bad breath

Your bite feels different

Your partial dentures don’t fit as they once did

Tooth loss

Gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene that leads to a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque contains a lot of bacteria, good and bad, which if left can build up and irritate your gums or at its worse cause tooth and bone loss.

How To Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease can be extremely difficult to treat once it has advanced so if you suspect you have gum disease or want to be sure your current oral hygiene routine is full proof against gum disease, you should do the following:

Brush Your Teeth – ensure to brush your teeth twice a day to remove any plaque or food leftovers that may be trapped between your gum line and teeth.

Brush Your Tongue – don’t forget to brush your tongue, too. Your tongue harbours a lot of harmful bacteria that can lead to gum disease.

Floss – Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth. Your toothbrush may not be able to reach deep down between your teeth so ensure you are flossing at least once a day to remove any trapped plaque or food.

Use Mouthwash – As a last step you should swill mouthwash around your mouth for 30-60 seconds to help remove any remaining plaque or food debris that you may have missed.

There are several health and lifestyle aspects that can increase your risk of gum disease including your age, your smoking status, dietary intake and genes. You should talk to your dentist if you think you are at risk so that they can catch it quick before any major gum deterioration begins.

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