Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is one of the leading causes of tooth loss for adults in the UK. There are two forms of gum disease, the milder version being gingivitis and the more advanced and serious form being periodontitis.
Periodontitis is the 6th most prevalent disease throughout the world and significantly linked to general well-being and longevity. It is often ‘silent’ and can be present for decades without diagnosis and treatment.
Gum disease is caused by bacterial plaque, with other factors including poor nutrition, smoking, tooth grinding, diabetes, stress and some medications increasing the likelihood of developing the condition.
Some people who have a lowered immunity or genetic propensity can also be more susceptible to gum disease. Most people will experience gingivitis at some stage of life, and the symptoms can be hard to spot. Early diagnosis is very important.
Gingivitis (Early gum disease)
Things to look out for include:
- Gums that bleed during brushing or when eating certain foods (blood on the toothbrush is a common first sign)
- Swollen gums that may or may not be painful
- Bad breath
The early stages of gum disease can be treated very easily with a visit to the hygienist and an improved home oral health regime, which your dentist or hygienist can advise you about.
In most cases this is enough.
Untreated, gingivitis can progress to the more serious periodontitis. Some people are more susceptible to the bacteria that cause gum disease, increasing their chances of developing periodontitis and making early intervention even more important.
Periodontitis (Advanced gum disease):
This is characterised by the following :
- Tooth ligaments detaching
- Destruction of surrounding bone
- Teeth becoming loose or wobbly
- Tooth loss
At 42, we treat complex periodontal cases with a mixture of non-surgical and surgical treatments, tailored to each individual patient's needs. Treatments include removal of the bacteria that cause the condition, education about how to manage the condition and stop it from progressing, and in some cases procedures to repair damaged bone and to re-contour the gums.
If you are in any of this information is relevant to you we recommend that you check with your dentist.