Patient with her dentist

An essential requirement for the prevention of oral disease is early diagnosis. This can only be achieved by visiting the dentist, ideally twice a year. However, some patients are more prone to gum disease and infection than others, therefore they will be asked to visit the dentist more often than that for preventive reasons. Gum disease is entirely preventable if patients follow some simple rules.

Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of bacteria and plaque along the gum line. Even diligent brushers and flossers can have gum disease because only a visit to the dentist in Southampton for a clean, scale and polish can effectively remove plaque hard to reach places in the mouth. Gum disease is a common ailment affecting millions of patients around the world and is one of the most common reasons patients go to the dentist, such as Smilemakers, for treatment.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease refers to 2 conditions, medically known as gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis refers to the early stage of gum disease, whereas periodontitis describes the advanced stage when significant damage has already occurred. Early stage gum disease has mild symptoms, which can easily be dismissed by patients. As it progresses, gum disease becomes painful, affecting the gum tissues and the underlying bone structure. Untreated gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Gum disease prevention is a two-fold process. Patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day as well as floss once a day. They should also never skip their regular appointment with the dentist in Southampton. A dental hygienist can safely and efficiently remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and around the gum line. Plaque contains bacteria that feast on the sugars in food and release harmful acids that damage the teeth and gums. The dentist in Southampton will look out for signs of gum disease such as sensitive, puffy, red, swollen or bloody gums. When diagnosed at an early stage, gum disease is easily treatable. Even in its advanced stages, a dentist can help restore a patient’s dental health.