Gum disease is one of those conditions that is often overlooked, but it can be extremely serious if not treated in a timely manner. It’s often referred to as being a silent disease as the early symptoms are easily missed. If your gums bled slightly when you last brushed them you may have dismissed this sign as being caused by something else, or perhaps you thought you brushed too hard. However this is one of the first symptoms that something is wrong, as healthy gums should not bleed when brushed and flossed normally. This is a signal that you need to do something about your oral health, and that perhaps you’re overdue for a visit to Leeds City Dentalcare. Additional symptoms of early gum disease include noticing your gums are a little bit puffier than normal, and they may appear red in colour. Healthy gums should be a nice pale pink colour and should fit snugly around your teeth.
Seeking treatment at our Leeds surgery sooner rather than later will enable us to treat the early signs of gum disease with relatively little fuss. It’s likely that you’ll just need to have your teeth professionally cleaned by one of our dental hygienists. You’ll be given lots of help and instructions on how to look after your teeth at home, and with extra vigilance this should be enough to see an improvement in your gums within just a few weeks.
If you choose to ignore these early signs then it’s likely the disease will develop into periodontitis. This is a much more serious condition and will require you to attend our Leeds surgery much more frequently for treatment to help hold it in check.
Factors That Can Increase the Likelihood of Gum Disease
While one of the major causes of gum disease is simply a lack of oral hygiene, there are certain factors that can increase the risk of developing this disease. These factors include:
- Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, during monthly menstruation, in pregnancy and during the menopause can make the gums more sensitive towards plaque bacteria. These are the bacteria that cause gum disease.
- Certain illnesses can increase the susceptibility of the gums towards developing gum disease. These illnesses include diabetes as this affects the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels, and HIV and cancer as these affect the body’s immune system.
- Certain medications can also increase the risk through causing a condition called dry mouth. This is where insufficient saliva is produced to help keep the mouth clean and healthy. Some drugs can also cause the gums to grow abnormally, increasing the risk of gum disease as it’s more difficult to keep the gums clean.
- Smokers are more at risk of developing gum disease as the smoking affects the body’s ability to heal the gum tissue.
- Gum disease may also be down to genetics, as anyone with a family history of dental disease may be more susceptible towards developing this condition.
Regular Dental Care Can Increase the Odds in Your Favour
Even if you are more at risk of developing gum disease you can greatly help to decrease this risk through making sure you have excellent dental care. Visiting Dr David Brown or another dentist in Leeds will help ensure your gums are kept healthy and free from disease. Regular dental hygiene appointments are essential for helping to remove hardened plaque bacteria from around the teeth, lessening the risk of inflammation and infection. Regular dental care at home through daily brushing and flossing will definitely help stack the odds in your favour.