INSIGHT | HOW IMPORTANT ARE HEALTHY GUMS?

February 1, 2021

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INSIGHT | HOW IMPORTANT ARE HEALTHY GUMS?

November 12, 2020

Gums are incredibly important, they are the support structure and foundation for your teeth, keeping them healthy is essential for good dental health, and keeping your smile looking its best.

There are two broad types of gum disease, Gingivitis is a mild reversible form of gum disease, which most people will experience at some point in their lives.  It can develop because of bacteria in dental plaque and when present, gums can become swollen, sore and bleed easily.  If left untreated, it can lead to Periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a more advanced condition, where the inflammation caused by the presence of bacteria in dental plaque can cause bone loss around teeth, leading to the following conditions:

Loose teeth/loss of teeth due to gum recession

Bleeding gums when you brush/floss

Bad breath

A nasty taste in your mouth

Abscesses under the gums

Gaps development between teeth

If Periodontitis’ is left untreated, the inflammation in your gums can also damage other blood vessels and has been linked to serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

So, what can you do to prevent gum disease’?   If you have concerns about your gum health and you suspect gingivitis you can begin to manage the symptoms yourself.  Many gum issues can be solved with improved dental hygiene such as changing your toothbrush, or toothbrush head, and gently brushing your teeth and gums twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.  You can also use dental floss or use interdental brushes to clean in-between the teeth.  It is normal for your gums to bleed if they are inflamed and this should settle down within a week or two.  

If you are still concerned you would normally book a visit with your dentist or hygienist.  Since March 2020 however, and the arrival of Covid-19, routine dental care is not as accessible as before.  Many dental procedures generate aerosols (AGP’s) and each time a handpiece, scaler or air spray is used within the mouth, it generates a spray which can remain in the air for up to an hour.  

Dental appointment slots are now longer as each surgery has to be left one hour after an AGP before it can be sanitised ready for the next patient.  Dentists and dental nurses then prepare the surgery and put on PPE. As you can imagine all of this creates a logistical challenge for most practices with often 1000’s of patients under their care.

At Bristol Dental Specialists we can see patients for treatment of gum disease that are either referred to us by a dentist, or directly (a self-referral).  Our Specialist in Restorative Dentistry, James Ban, is passionate about Periodontics and works closely with patients to achieve optimum gum health.

We are currently offering a support service to dental practices and their patients.  As a large private practice with multiple surgeries, we are fortunate enough to have the space and time to carry out AGP’s on our patients.  For the foreseeable future we are offering dentists and their patients the option of a free twenty-minute virtual gum consultation to discuss gum concerns, and if appropriate, treat patients so their gum health does not deteriorate.

If you feel this service would benefit you, please call Bristol Dental Specialists on 0117 450 6666 or e-mail our treatment co-ordinator rebecca.metcalfe@bristoldentalspecialists.com to arrange to book in.