You may have heard this already, but the health of your gums cannot be understated. Gum disease is a serious business, and a new news article has only confirmed what professionals have suspected for a long time – that gum health can directly impact your general health too and put you at higher risk of certain conditions.[i]
According to data, 90% of UK individuals have some gum disease.[ii] What this means is that the vast majority of us are putting ourselves at unnecessary risk of developing serious conditions such as higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
But how do you know if you have gum disease? here are some symptoms to look out for:
- Bleeding gums during and after toothbrushing
- Red, swollen gums
- Bad breath/ a bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
These are all reliable signs that your gum health is suffering, and can indicate a bigger problem.
If you’re concerned about gum disease, there are a number of routes you can take in order to help treat it. the first is to visit your dentist and get a full scale and polish. This will remove any plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) which should help give the gums a chance to heal. Following this, you need to speak to your dentist about problem areas and see where you can improve your home hygiene routines.
Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with dental floss, a water flosser or interdental brushes is a good way to maintain an acceptable standard of oral cleanliness. You can also support this routine with mouthwashes and other adjuncts to help minimise plaque build-up.
One thing to bear in mind is what type of toothbrush you’re using and your brushing technique. It can be easy to miss certain areas of your mouth if you are using a toothbrush that isn’t suited to your oral cavity or that can’t reach those difficult areas. Speak to your dentists about the available options and get them to point out any areas that need any attention – this way you can make a conscious effort to pay special attention to these areas when you do blush and clean interdentally to make sure they are being cleaned properly.
At the end of the day, gum disease is no small threat, but it is a condition that can easily be kept at bay with better attention to home hygiene routines and regular visits to your dentist. This way, you can avoid the higher threats of very serious conditions that accompany gum disease, leading a healthier, and hopefully longer life.
[i] [i] Express. Gum Disease a ‘Significant Factor’ for Five ‘Serious’ Health Issues, Expert Warns. Link: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1511996/gum-disease-stroke-heart-disease-infertility-arthritis-diabetes [Last Accessed October 21].
[ii] BUPA. Gum Disease. Link: https://www.bupa.co.uk/dental/dental-care/treatments/gum-disease [Last accessed October 21].