Many people suffer an overwhelming fear of visiting the dentist (the NHS estimate that 1 in 4 dread a visit to the dentist) and this often causes people to neglect important dental appointments which in turn increases their risk of oral health problems such as gum disease.
One of the most important factors in overcoming dental anxiety is good communication between you and your dentist. When you feel in control and informed throughout your visit you will naturally feel less anxious.
From talking to your dentist or hygienist to improving your daily oral care routine, there are plenty of ways to help stop gum disease becoming a problem for you.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease or gingivitis is a very common condition where the gums become swollen, sore or infected. Most adults in Ireland and the UK have some degree of gum disease and most experience it at least once.
Gum disease is caused by plaque bacteria that builds up around, on and in between teeth. If this bacteria is not removed by regular brushing and flossing it can irritate gums leading to swollen and bleeding gums.
Failing to spot gum disease early on can be a serious issue as it is one of the leading causes of tooth loss for adults. Fortunately, some warning signs of gum disease are easy to spot:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating hard food
- Teeth may look longer as a result of gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Sores in your mouth
Luckily gum disease can be prevented and treated. Follow these simple guidelines for maintaining a good level of oral hygiene.
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- Brushing teeth after meals can help remove food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums
- Using a mouthwash to help reduce plaque and remove any food particles missing during brushing
- Visiting your dentist or dental hygienist for a thorough clean to remove any hardened plaque (tartar)
Gum disease can easily become a thing of the past if good oral hygiene routines and observed and regular visits to the dentists made an essential component of your busy life.
Don’t let gum disease spoil your smile.