Gum Disease is a major health problem in the UK with both adults and children suffering from its symptoms o a regular basis. It comes about as a result of not maintaining strict oral health regimes, or not brushing your teeth often enough. It is a very common condition that many people have, yet struggle to deal with.

dental hygiene

The best way to treat gum disease is to practise good oral hygiene through the use of regular brushing and flossing. In problematic cases of gum disease that cause further discomfort, additional medical and dental treatments may be necessary or recommended by your dentist. So what does good oral hygiene actually involve?

dentist waiting room

In order to maintain good oral hygiene you should be brushing your teeth regularly for at least two minutes, twice a day. Electric toothbrushes have been proven to be far more effective than standard brushes, so getting hold of an electric toothbrush is recommended. You should use toothpaste that contains fluoride, a natural mineral that fights tooth decay and floss your teeth regularly, preferably near eating times. Smoking can also contribute to gum disease over time, so stopping smoking can also help. Finally, visiting your dentist every 6 months for a check-up is absolutely essential and necessary to prevent gum disease from turning into further complications.

One of the most popular ways of treating gum disease once it is diagnosed is to use mouthwash as this helps to control the build-up of plaque in the mouth and kill off any harmful bacteria before it causes problems. Antiseptic mouthwashes include chlorhexidine and hexetidine which are available at over-the-counter pharmacies. You can use the guidance of your dentist to determine which type of mouthwash is most suitable to use. After using any form of mouthwash you should rinse your mouth out thoroughly between brushing. Some ingredients of toothpaste can restrict the effects of mouthwash and some types of mouthwash can stain your teeth brown.

Upon visiting a dentist, a common method of treatment involves the removal of plaque and tartar that can gradually build up on teeth. This is known as the scale and polish. It is a professional clean that is usually carried out at a dental surgery by a dentist. Specialist instruments are used to scrape away any tartar and plaque that has built up over time and you may need to have more than one scale and polish. NHS dental treatment costs around £20.00 for basic treatment, with advanced treatment a little over double this. Ask your dentist if you are unsure about the pricing of the treatment you require.

Acute Necrotising Ulcerative Gingivitis or ANUG is a complication of gum disease that requires treatment by a dentist. A GP may also diagnose ANUG before you see your dentist and can provide treatment if necessary, so you can choose to book an appointment with either if you suspect you are suffering from ANUG. Treatment for ANUG includes antibiotics, painkillers and specific types of mouthwash.

One of the many risk factors associated with gum disease is smoking which we mentioned above. Smoking plays a major part in most gum disease diagnosis’ and giving up smoking can significantly improve your chances of handling gum disease and avoiding it full stop. If you are concerned about smoking and the effects it may be having on your oral health, you are advised to make an appointment with your GP or dentist. Giving up smoking is not easy and requires plenty of work and commitment, yet this is by far the most beneficial method of preventing gum disease from occurring, especially if you are a consistent smoker.

Article provided by Omnia Dental; a practice of dental surgeons based in Basingstoke and providing stunning smiles to clients for over 35 years.