Resolve to keep your gums in the pink this year
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, with every intention of keeping them, but all too often our good intentions can fall by the wayside. However, we think there is one resolution that is really worth making, because you will never regret it, and that is to have healthy gums.
What’s more, this is one resolution that is relatively easy to keep, and which is cost-effective in the longer term. The links between poor gum health and general health problems are compelling, so when you look after your gums, you’re doing something great for your general health. Without the proper care, your gums can become diseased and infected.
How does gum disease begin?
Often gum disease can develop without causing any noticeable symptoms or pain. It is a bacterial infection that begins with the development of plaque. This is the sticky substance that forms over tooth surfaces each day and which contains bacteria.
Plaque tends to build up around your gum line, and in between your teeth. It’s removed through regular brushing and flossing but any that’s left behind will quickly develop into calculus or tartar. This is a very hard substance that can only be removed during a professional cleaning. Without proper oral care, the bacteria in plaque and tartar will infect and inflame your gums.
Initially, your gums may bleed slightly when you brush or floss, and you might notice they look slightly red or swollen. At this point, gum disease, called gingivitis is completely reversible. Ignoring the signs will allow the disease to progress into something much more serious and which is called periodontitis.
What happens If I have Periodontitis?
By this stage your gums will have begun to recede, pulling away from your teeth which creates deep pockets in between your teeth and your gums. The bacteria that cause periodontitis are anaerobic so these pockets, called periodontal pockets provide them with the perfect home environment where they can thrive and multiply.
It’s also highly likely that these bacteria will have begun to destroy the bone surrounding your teeth, so your teeth might start to become a little wobbly. At the same time, the bacteria can begin to get into your bloodstream and from there they can go virtually anywhere they choose. This is why periodontitis is so serious and why it can affect your general health. Periodontitis has been linked with diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and some cancers.
This might sound scary, but now for the really good news. Just by spending a few minutes each day and by visiting us here at Chatham Dental Centre, you can avoid the spectre of periodontal disease. Once you have a healthy mouth it’s generally easy to keep it that way.
Keeping your gums strong and healthy
Our dentist Dr. James Cadigan will check the condition of your gums so that any signs of gingivitis can be easily treated. Regular hygiene appointments will keep your gums healthy and strong and our hygiene team are passionate about good gum health. They can give you some great tips and advice on brushing and flossing at home.
Keeping up with a good oral hygiene routine of twice-daily brushing and once-a-day flossing will ensure plaque is regularly removed before it gets a chance to do any damage. Your reward will be strong and healthy gums that fit snugly and protectively around your teeth, framing a beautifully healthy smile.