Gum disease is a very common condition where the gums become swollen, sore or infected. Most adults in the UK have gum disease to some degree.
There may be bleeding when brushing along with bad breath (please note that smokers may not get bleeding, however there may still be gum disease present. The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If it is not treated it can lead toperiodontitis which affects the supporting tissues around the teeth that hold them in place causing gaps to develop between the bone and the teeth making them loose and may eventually fall out.
Smokers are at high risk of getting gum disease. There may not be bleeding when brushing or flossing due to the restriction of blood flow to the gum and surrounding tissues, therefore regular visits to the dentist and hygienistis very important.
Mild Cases of gum disease can be treated by maintaining a good level of oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing every day or as regularly as you can. Regular dental check-ups are also important with the support of a dental hygienist to remove any hardened plaque (tartar) and demo of how to brush and floss effectively.
Dental Floss and Interdental Brushes helps to prevent gum disease by getting rid of pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance made of bacteria. If it builds up, the bacteria can irritate the gums and cause inflammation.
What if my gums bleed?
When you first start flossing, gums can become tender and bleed a little as you start to get rid of plaque build-up. Carry on flossing and the bleeding should stop as the gums become healthier and stronger. If, however, bleeding persists after a few days of flossing, visit your dentist or hygienist. They can check if you are flossing correctly.
What is the correct way to floss?
What if I find flossing difficult? Interdental brushes are an alternative tool to use if flossing is difficult. It has a small bristled head specially designed to clean between teeth. They come in different colour coded sizes and the ideal would be a snug fit when being used. Too loose and it will not remove the sticky plaque. You may need to use more than one size of brush. There are a wide variety of tools to use to clean in between teeth and the best way to find out which will suit you, is to see your dentist or hygienist.