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Get your teeth into cleaning!

November 2019

older man cleaning teeth
Brushing teeth twice a day is really important

If you watch certain tv programmes, you will have seen many recent adverts related to gum health, and how gums around teeth can become diseased, swollen and even bleed when you brush your teeth.

Gum disease in its early stages is often ignored, especially by people who don’t regularly visit their dentist for check ups, but it is a very common problem.  In fact, the professionals say that most adults in the UK will have some degree of gum disease. As we get older this can get worse.

Children don’t usually suffer from the same problem because gum disease is caused by plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that clings to the teeth and can contain bacteria.  When you brush your teeth well, you will remove any plaque; but if you don’t, then this plaque can build up. Over time it will start affecting your gums, initially leading to redness, possibly soreness and swelling and eventually bleeding.

If this continues untreated, then the tissues that hold the teeth in place can be affected and even the bone in your jaw can be damaged.  This can result in painful abscesses and receding gums, and eventually your teeth can become loose and fall out.

There have been recent reports that diseased gums can also contribute to other health problems too. So all in all, gum health is incredibly important.

There are medical names for the condition; the early stages of gum disease is known as gingivitis; when it becomes serious, then periodontitis can develop.

The best way to prevent gum problems is by regular thorough brushing. This involved a thorough brushing of every tooth, back and front, and also good flossing inbetween. When we were young, we had dentists and that was that. Today most dental practices will also offer the services of a dental hygienist. These will check your teeth and given them a thorough cleaning, removing any hardened plaque  which is a terrific aid in helping to prevent gum disease.

It is never too late to visit a dentist. A recent report said up to a third of British people never visit a dentist and this can be for several reasons, including the expense and also the fact that visiting a dentist is never an enjoyable experience. But developing periodontitis and loosing your teeth is a lot more unpleasant. Never be embarrassed if you have not visited a dentist for a while; sadly dentists are well used to this and will be grateful that at last you are trying to look after your teeth.

Many dentists recommend electric toothbrushes and this is not just to save you effort. Electric toothbrushes are incredibly effective at cleaning teeth properly and are also very easy to handle. They really are well worth the investment.

If you have any problems finding an NHS dentist, then visit:

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/dentists/how-to-find-an-nhs-dentist/


 

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