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Periodontal Disease and Gum Health


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What is gum disease?

It’s important to know that, despite it being one of the most widespread diseases across the world, gum disease is preventable and can be easily treated when if it’s detected early enough.

Periodontal disease, another name for gum disease, is caused by bacteria that collect on and around your teeth and form a dental biofilm – a sticky layer that cannot be washed away. The biofilm (sometimes called dental plaque) needs to be removed mechanically, by brushing and cleaning between your teeth regularly, twice a day. If it’s not properly cleaned, the gum starts to come away from your tooth, forming pockets and allowing the biofilm to spread down below the gum line. Over time, the bone that supports your teeth is destroyed, the gums shrink and eventually the teeth become wobbly and fall out.

And there are other reasons to be concerned: studies show that periodontal disease increases the risk of Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, premature birth, respiratory disorders, diabetes and more…

Who can get gum disease?

Most people can get mild gum disease, but some people are susceptible to more aggressive forms. Severe gum disease (particularly if it develops at a young age), can run in families. There are a few factors that put people at higher risk of getting severe gum disease. These include:

• diabetes, especially if poorly controlled
• smoking (possibly including e-cigarettes)
• stress
• a poor diet lacking in vitamins and minerals
• being overweight
• certain prescription medications.

Do I have periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is usually pain-free, which is why it’s sometimes called a ‘silent disease’, so you may be unaware it’s there until your dentist or hygienist checks for it. Here are some ‘red flags’ – symptoms you may notice that should raise concerns:

• Bleeding gums when you brush – or even when you eat
• Red, swollen gums
• Bad breath
• Spaces appearing between your teeth
• Loose teeth or teeth moving position in your mouth
• Receding gums
• Sensitivity to cold or hot foods and drinks

1. It can be difficult to see the biofilm that causes gum disease.
2. But it shows up clearly after using a disclosing solution.
3. Which is removed using GBT.

Book an appointment with our hygienist.

What is Guided Biofilm Therapy?

Treatment for periodontal disease aims to reduce the build-up of biofilm around your teeth to prevent the disease from getting worse. You need to remember that, in most cases, treatment can’t replace the support your teeth may have already lost.

We can help you to develop the best methods of cleaning your teeth and gums to remove dental biofilm. But remember: treatment will only work if you clean your teeth properly, twice a day, to a high standard.

• You need to clean daily between your teeth with interdental brushes – or floss if the gaps between teeth are too tight for brushes.
• You should use a small headed toothbrush or a good quality power brush – our hygienist can give you advice on the best choice.
• Calculus (often known as tartar) forming above the gum-line makes it difficult for you to clean and can be removed by our hygienist.
• Biofilm growing below the gum line can be removed by our hygienist during deep cleaning of your teeth. An injection to make your gums and teeth numb is often ideal during this treatment.
• Mouthwashes may help with very mild gum disease but may mask more serious gum disease, so we don’t generally recommend them.

Book an appointment with our hygienist.

What are the benefits of treatment?

Your gums will be healthier, and you may notice such benefits as:

• Greater confidence in a fresher mouth.
• Gums not being sore or bleeding when you brush.
• Teeth becoming less wobbly.
• Less discomfort when you eat.
• And ultimately, you will keep your teeth for longer.

Success in treating gum disease depends on how well you clean your teeth and how your gums respond. Cleaning thoroughly twice a day and regular dental visits are good habits to adopt for life.

Book an appointment with our hygienist.

What can I expect after treatment?

Your gums are likely to bleed more to start with – don’t worry and keep cleaning as this is normal and will improve.

• As they become healthier your gums may shrink. Spaces may appear between the teeth and they may appear longer.
• As gums shrink, your teeth may become more sensitive to hot, cold or sweet things. Usually, this gets better in a few weeks, but you might need to use a special sensitivity toothpaste or have other treatment to help with this.

Book an appointment with our hygienist.

What are the available alternatives?

The only real alternatives to treating gum disease are (1) not treating the disease or (2) having your teeth removed.

(1) If you have no treatment:

• The gum disease is likely to get worse
• Your teeth could become wobbly with gaps appearing between your teeth
• Your breath will not improve
• Your gums and teeth could become painful
• You are highly likely to lose your teeth sooner

(2) Extractions:

Removal (extraction) of a tooth or teeth may be an acceptable alternative treatment if your gum disease is severe.

• You may wish to have replacements for any lost teeth by means of a denture, bridge or implant. It’s important to remember that implants are only recommended if your gum disease is no longer present.
• People find it easier and more enjoyable to eat with natural teeth rather than replacements.
• Extractions would reduce the time spent treating your gum disease.
• An extraction is a quick solution to solve a problem with a painful tooth.
• If your front teeth have a poor appearance, a denture or a bridge may look better

Additional information to consider:

If you smoke tobacco you should do your best to give up – there are plenty of organisations that can help.

Smokers who continue to smoke:

• are much more likely to get gum disease
• may find their gum disease gets worse quite quickly
• are less likely to get better after treatment
• are more likely to have a recurrence of gum disease following treatment

Acknowledgements: Information courtesy of British Society of Periodontology.

More information on gum health and periodontal disease can be found at:

You’re in safe hands

Maintaining healthy gums is the most important part of looking after your oral health.

Even the most fantastic smile won’t last unless it’s supported on a firm foundation, and our hygienist treatments are the best way to keep that foundation healthy and stable.

From a simple cleaning to remove staining and build-up to long-term treatment and maintenance for gum disease – our highly qualified and experienced hygienists provide the care you need.

We’ll give you help and guidance in choosing the oral hygiene aids best suited to your individual needs. And our online shop is the ideal place to order the items you need!

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Gum disease — maybe it is your problem?

It hides in your mouth, destroying gum tissue and teeth, and it can lead to strokes, heart attacks, or Alzheimer’s disease. Don’t think it’s your problem? Up to 80 per cent of the population unknowingly has gum disease in some form.

Most adult tooth loss is linked to gum disease. But research also shows links between gum disease and serious health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and complications with pregnancy.

Gum disease is silent; early symptoms may be painless and mild, like swollen gums or bleeding when you brush.

Regular dental and hygienist check-ups are vital because we can detect, treat, and reverse gum disease in the early stages before major problems arise.

Find out more

Cause and effect

Several factors can contribute to the development of gum disease: the build-up of plaque on your teeth (known as biofilm), genetics, and your lifestyle choices. But the most common and controllable factor is dental biofilm — the sticky, colourless coating on your teeth produced by normal mouth bacteria. These bacteria release toxins that break down the natural fibres that bond gums to your teeth.

When this occurs, pockets form between the gums and teeth, and more bacteria and toxins hide, flourish, and destroy your gums. Over time, this process affects not only gums, teeth, and the bone within the mouth, but can also significantly affect your overall health.

Find out more

Maintaining good gum health

Regular hygienist visits help us to keep a watchful eye on the health of your gums. You should also brush twice a day, and floss or clean between your teeth once each day.

We’ll recommend the products that will optimize your oral homecare, and we’ll show you the best methods for brushing and flossing. If you have overcome periodontal disease, we will recommend frequent check-ups to ensure your mouth stays healthy for a lifetime.

Maintaining good gum health

Regular hygienist visits help us to keep a watchful eye on the health of your gums. You should also brush twice a day, and floss or clean between your teeth once each day.

We’ll recommend the products that will optimize your oral homecare, and we’ll show you the best methods for brushing and flossing. If you have overcome periodontal disease, we will recommend frequent check-ups to ensure your mouth stays healthy for a lifetime.

How much does it cost?

Costs will vary depending on the current health of your gums. However, as a guide, a single visit to maintain your gum health starts from £68. Treatment for active periodontal disease will involve several visits and starts from £360.

Professional, knowledgeable and generally fantastic team. High quality treatment and easy to follow advice. I would highly recommend…

Leamington Spa

The team were very friendly, professional & helpful, the whole process went so smoothly with their help & guidance

Going to the dentist was made especially easy and comfortable by the amazing staff at Space Healthcare.

I felt comfortable knowing that my oral health was in expert hands. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else for my dental treatment in Leamington Spa.

Fantastic and friendly customer service and brilliant attention to detail from Rob with regards to treatment

My teeth look amazing and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Thank you so much to all at Space Healthcare!

Dentist Leamington Spa
Space Healthcare. York House, Clarendon Ave, Leamington Spa, CV32 5PP.
Tel: 01926 282282 Email:

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