An oyster contains just one pearl and, we too, get just one chance to look after our adult teeth. With the right care and modern dentistry it is possible to keep our precious teeth for a lifetime. These days, preventative dentistry and new techniques concentrate on avoiding the need for treatment, and saving teeth wherever possible. At 'Teeth for Life' we very rarely need to extract teeth as we much prefer to save them.
Brushing and flossing our teeth and using an alcohol-free mouthwash are ways in which you can maintain a clean, healthy mouth. When teeth are not looked after properly however, it can lead to gum disease (over the age of 18, more than 90% of teeth are lost due to gum disease). This is totally preventable if you see a dentist and / or hygienist regularly. 'Teeth for Life' believe that dentistry should be undertaken from the foundation upwards so we make sure that teeth, bones gums and mouth are healthy before undertaking treatment. Our team of hygienists are highly experienced and adopt pain free procedures. We also recommend Dentyl pH between appointments as a 'home help' as this alcohol free mouthwash lifts, removes and reveals bacteria that cause bad breath and gum disease. There is no other mouthwash like it and you will see what is removed in the sink as evidence that it works. For further information click here.
What is Gum Disease?
Normal, healthy gums are pink, tight and firm and they do not bleed when you brush or floss (see picture). The first sign of a problem is redness around the edge of the gum where it meets the tooth. The gum may be slightly puffy and bleed when you brush.
Gum disease usually starts off as a build up of plaque at the gum line. Plaque is a thick, almost colourless, sticky bacterial film which constantly forms on the teeth until brushed away. Bacteria on the tooth surface attracts additional bacteria and, as plaque continues to accumulate, it creates an unhealthy environment of a diverse population of bacteria and their by-products. If not removed regularly or thoroughly enough, this builds up and the plaque can then lead to gum disease. Gum disease is also known as gingivitis.Having untreated gum disease has been linked to general health problems such as Heart Disease,Stroke,Diabetes and low weight Pre Term Birth
| The signs of gum disease
Prevention of Gum Disease (Ginigivitis)
Daily brushing and cleaning between the teeth with floss or interdental cleaners is essential for the removal of plaque. In addition, when extra help is required, use of an antibacterial alcohol-free mouthwash can kill the bacteria that cause plaque, gum disease and gingivitis. Click here for a recommended mouthwash. Gingivitis can be reversed by thorough removal of plaque and regular professional cleaning. If left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis and tooth loss. Periodontitis is where teeth separate from the bone and the tissue that anchors the teeth to the bone become inflamed. It can only be treated by a dentist.
Many patients mention they are worried about their gums receding as they think this is the beginning of the end. When our teeth first come through, the gums sit tightly around the necks of the teeth. All the exposed tooth you can see in the mouth is covered with tooth enamel and there is no root surface showing (see picture). With receding gums the join between the gum and teeth is further down the root. A groove or ridge can then be seen or felt just next to the gum and this may sometimes be sensitive to touch, or to hot and cold things. The exposed root tissue is ‘alive and sensitive’ and feels things much more than it if it were covered with tooth enamel. (see picture). Gums which have already receded are not actually a serious situation, so long as if the gum itself is kept healthy.