Today (Wednesday 12th May) is Gum Health Day, which aims to increase public awareness of the seriousness of gum disease. You might think it doesn’t affect you – but why not take a quick look in the mirror just in case?
Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is thought to affect around 80% of the adult population and has a habit of creeping up on you. Common early warning signs include red or tender gums, and/or bleeding when you brush. Detected early it can usually be treated by an effective oral health regime, including brushing your teeth twice a day and cleaning between your teeth regularly.
Left untreated, it can cause painful infection, bone damage and tooth loss. There is also growing evidence to suggest strong links between the bacteria which cause severe gum disease (periodontitis) and many chronic health conditions. This can result in an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia and certain cancers, amongst other serious health conditions.
The biggest risk factor for gum disease is poor oral hygiene – toothbrushing and interdental cleaning. Unfortunately, the problem has worsened during lockdown as normal routines have fallen by the wayside, and access to routine dental services has been disrupted. While some people are brushing less often, others have turned to sugary foods for comfort. Stress levels, another risk factor in gum disease, have undoubtedly increased, which is again bad news for gum health. Meanwhile, 19 million fewer dental appointments have taken place over the past year due to the pandemic, according to the British Dental Association.
“Gum Health Day is a great opportunity to get the message across that gum disease is entirely preventable with the right home care, and we are here to help you develop an oral hygiene regime tailored to your individual needs” says TDP hygienist Sabina Camber.
If you are concerned about your gums, or require a general check-up, call reception today on 01805 623657 to make an appointment with your dentist or hygienist. It could make all the difference to your long term oral and general health.
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