Focus on gum disease

Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in the adult UK population. It is caused by bacterial plaque accumulating on gum margins around and between teeth. Initially this causes bleeding and swelling (gingivitis) which if left untreated results in pocket formation and bone loss (periodontitis). Teeth become loose, infected and ultimately require extraction. Sadly many patients are not made aware of the problem until it is too late. Your dentist should carry out an assessment of gum health at every examination.

Certain groups for example smokers and diabetics can be more vulnerable and there may also be hereditary factors. Recently a link between gum conditions and cardiovascular disease has been suggested. This is not fully proven but is certainly a cause for concern.

The good news is that with the correct treatment gum disease can be prevented and in cases where an established condition exists can be halted. A simple scale and polish makes teeth feel fresh and clean but is not an effective treatment. A more thorough approach is required.

Dental hygienists are trained to give patients treatment to ensure that even the most inaccessible areas are cleaned. This can be achieved gently and painlessly but requires time. Advanced techniques using local anti bacterial and lasers can also used with good outcomes.

The patient needs to be encouraged and motivated to maintain high standards of oral hygiene. The whole mouth looks and feels healthy and the unpleasant side effects like bad breath can be eliminated. Patients who build regular hygiene into their routine have dramatically reduced treatment needs.

If you are concerned that you may have issues with your gums then prompt diagnosis and treatment is advisable.

Contact the Mayhill Dental and Specialist Centre where you will receive peerless standards of care.

For more information and advice please call 01600 712020 or email us at


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