Periodontal disease (otherwise known as gum disease) is a highly common condition. In fact, it is believed that around three quarters of adults in the UK are affected by it in some way, and the majority of us will get it at some point in our lives.
While some people are more aware of the signs and symptoms, others can notice nothing at all. Often it can be very difficult to tell that you even have gum disease. As a result, and perhaps rather unsurprisingly, gum disease beats even tooth decay as the main cause of tooth loss in adults.
What causes gum disease?
Every day, no matter how well we brush, plaque gradually builds on the surface of our teeth and gums. As time passes, this plaque begins to harden, eventually turning into tartar.
When tartar is left on the teeth, your gums begin to react and may start to look inflamed or feel irritated. Often they can change colour- becoming a darker pink or red.
Your body naturally starts to fight off this unwanted presence, attacking the plaque to remove it. However, in a number of patients (around 20%), an overreaction causes it to also attack the bone and tissue holding the tooth in place. If enough time passes without any treatment, the bone can erode completely, causing the tooth to fall out.
The best way to protect yourself from the development of gum disease is with regular dental and hygienist appointments. Our experienced team will fully check your teeth and gums at every check-up, looking out for the tell-tale signs of gum disease. If we have any concerns at all we‘ll discuss them with you, giving you advice on the best way to help improve the issue.