The two most common things that affect our oral health are tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay occurs when plaque and bacteria are allowed to build up on the surface of the teeth and release acid that erodes enamel. This eventually leads to decay, infection and ultimately tooth loss. Gum disease is also caused by plaque and bacteria. This sits on the surface of the gum tissue and again releases acids, which cause irritation to the gums. If this process continues, the gum tissue can become infected which is the start of gum disease.
There are two main types of gum disease. Firstly, gingivitis which is the milder form of the disease, characterised by mild inflammation and irritation. This can cause some discomfort but is easily treated with improved oral hygiene and some treatment from a Swindon dentist. The other mores serious form of the disease is called periodontitis. This is when the infection has really taken hold in the gums, beyond the point that more effective cleaning will help. This may cause bleeding of the gums, tissue destruction and considerable pain.
If not treated effectively, periodontitis will eventually result in tooth loss and the spread of infection to other areas of the mouth. More worryingly perhaps, is the recent evidence for links between periodontits and heart disease. If the infection is allowed to enter the bloodstream it can cause a chain reaction that can have seriously damaging consequence on your heart and even cause fatal heart attacks. It is therefore very important to be aware of the health of your gums and do all you can to keep them clean. Better brushing and flossing combined with six-monthly dental check ups will help to keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy. With nearly three quarters of adults suffering from gum disease of some kind during their lives, it seems there is a lot more we can do to prevent it.