Gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis, is caused by bacteria in the mouth and is the major cause of early tooth loss in adults in Ireland. Its prevention is essential. It has also been scientifically shown that there is a link between gum disease and heart disease.
Gum disease is usually the result of poor oral hygiene and irregular dental attendance. However, it can also often run in families, and lifestyle factors such as smoking have a massive effect on the disease progression.
It affects approximately 80-85% of the Irish population and is caused by plaque gathering around the gum margins of teeth. Plaque hardens after 24 hours and forms tartar, which over time will cause both the gum and bone around teeth to shrink, causing teeth to become loose and sometimes even fall out!
Some early signs of gum disease are bleeding gums whilst tooth brushing or eating, bad breath, a bad taste in the mouth, swollen gums and occasionally painful gums.
Gum disease can be easily treated by tooth brushing at least twice per day and using dental floss or interdental brushes once a day. This will help to keep the plaque build up around teeth to a minimum.
In addition, we would recommend regular visits, ie. every 3 to 6 months, to the dentist or hygienist. This will enable the tartar that builds up to be removed from around the teeth on a regular basis. Research has shown that patients who attend regularly for their “scale and polish” with the dentist or hygienist are much more likely to avoid losing their teeth due to gum disease.
Hygienists play an ever-expanding role in modern day dentistry. They are key players in the long-term prevention of both tooth decay and gum disease.
Doireann Connolly, our hygienist at Navan Dental, has many years experience and will clean your teeth and gums to a professional standard, as well as offering advice on your daily oral hygiene routines.
A thorough cleaning of teeth with Doireann can reduce plaque and stains, and polish up your teeth, giving a you brighter smile. The reduction of plaque can counter problems such as bad breath, bleeding gums and gum disease.
At Navan Dental, we see that regular attenders of Doireann tend to have healthier mouths and teeth, meaning that they require less dental treatment! Also if a patient is attending a dentist or hygienist regularly, then if any treatment is ever needed it is often detected earlier, meaning that the problem is easier and cheaper to resolve, than it otherwise would have been!