Looking after your gums is just as important as looking after your teeth, but it’s something that isn’t talked about as much as it should be! February is Gum Disease Awareness Month, so we want to do our bit to raise awareness, encourage everyone to look after their gums and to give you some signs of unhealthy gums to look out for. 

What is Gum Disease Awareness Month?

Gum Disease Awareness Month is a national and global effort to raise public awareness of gum disease. It was launched back in 2012 to encourage people to check their gums, notice any signs of unhealthy gums and to take an active role in practicing better oral health. 

To give you a better understanding of how important it is to look after your gums, here are some shocking statistics:

  • Gum disease is not rare to get – it’s very common amongst adults.
  • Up to 90% of adults in the UK have some gum disease, even if it is only the smallest amount. 
  • It is often called ‘The Silent Disease’ because of the lack of symptoms in the early stages.
  • If you are a smoker, have diabetes or suffer from stress, you’re more at risk.

Signs of gum disease

Gum disease is caused by plaque building up on your teeth. Plaque contains bacteria, and some of this bacteria can be harmful for your gums. If the plaque is not removed it can build up, irritating your gums and causing gum redness, swelling, and bleeding. 

To help you become more aware of gum disease, it’s crucial to be able to spot the signs as soon as possible. Getting ahead early will give you the best possible chance of eliminating it before it becomes a bigger problem. Here are some of the most common signs.

Bleeding gums

If your gums bleed when you brush or floss, this can be one of the early signs of gum disease. Many people tend to ignore this, as they think they’ve simply brushed too hard. However, if you’re suffering from bleeding gums more often than not, you should give us a visit for a check up.

Swollen gums

Gingivitis, a type of gum disease, is one of the most common causes of swollen gums. It is usually the result of poor oral hygiene and lack of brushing, which causes plaque to build up on your gum line and on your teeth. This will irritate your gums and make them sore and uncomfortable.

Receding gums

If your gums are receding or pulling away from your teeth, this can be another sign of gum disease. Again, this can be due to infections in your gums from lack of oral hygiene and the buildup of plaque, destroying gum tissue. If you’re worried, call us and book an appointment.

Bad breath.

It goes without saying that an unhealthy mouth will give you bad breath. Failing to have a consistent brushing and flossing routine will cause your teeth and gums to build up with bacteria, creating bad breath. 

How can I prevent gum disease?

Part of Gum Disease Awareness Month is to give more information about how we can look after our whole mouth and to prevent any signs of gum disease. Here are some important ways you can keep bacteria at bay:

  • Brush your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes, twice per day. Choose a fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay.
  • Use interdental brushes or floss to clean in between your teeth  daily. Take extra care to floss around each tooth to the places your brush can’t quite reach.
  • Keep an eye on your diet and cut down on things high in sugar. Healthy foods mean a healthy mouth!

Visit your dentist regularly. Book in for an examination and hygiene session once every 6 months. At Churchfield Dental Centre, our skilled team can quickly identify any issues and take the necessary steps to help you create a healthy mouth.

Gum Disease Awareness Month – Are you looking after your teeth and gums?

Hopefully, you’re now more aware of the signs of gum disease and how you can do your bit to look after your whole mouth. However, if you’re struggling to keep up with an oral hygiene routine, or you have some concerns about your gum health, come and pay us a visit. Call us today to book an appointment on 01226 771 471. The sooner you act, the better!

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