Gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss, but left untreated it is not only your teeth which are at risk; the latest research indicates a link with heart disease and stroke together with an increased incidence of low birth weight and premature babies in mothers with untreated gum disease.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria living in plaque around the teeth and gums, if this is not removed the gums become swollen and red, bleeding easily, this is gingivitis. If the gingivitis is not treated the infection can spread deeper into the supporting bone damaging the foundations of the teeth. This is called periodontal disease.
What can we do?
- Remove the bacteria by regular brushing and flossing.
- Eat well; natural vitamin C and zinc boost healing, a high water intake maintains tissue health, antioxidants in fresh fruit and vegetables reduce tissue damage.
- Do not smoke; gum disease in a smoker can be as much as 500 times more aggressive than in a non-smoker! Smoking can mask the signs of early disease so delaying diagnosis and treatment.
- Have your teeth and gums checked regularly and follow the homecare and maintenance plan designed for you.