05 Feb 2024
4 min read
We can think of gum disease as an ongoing clash between the bacteria found in our mouths and the immune system.
Bone and gum can be casualties.
Because of genetics, different people are affected in different ways – just as people react differently to pollen during hay fever season. I may sneeze uncontrollably and you may be absolutely fine.
One thing we can control when it comes to gum disease is the way we look after our teeth and gums.
An effective, consistent oral health routine is crucial.
If I have gum disease, I may have to be more meticulous about this than someone who does not.
(Although we do, of course, advise a great oral health routine for all patients!)
Another analogy to consider is the case of twin brothers – one has diabetes and the other does not.
A GP may advise the brother with diabetes to cut down on sugar – but will give no such advice to his twin.
Plaque and bacteria are the primary culprits with gum disease.
Individuals react differently to these invaders while other factors, such as smoking or rheumatoid arthritis, can exacerbate the condition.
There are two key types of gum disease.
Gingivitis – essentially gum inflammation – can be reversible with exceptional oral hygiene.
But, if left unchecked, it can progress to periodontitis – and bone loss.
There are a number of varieties of periodontitis from mild to more advanced.
Once established, it’s irreversible and requires careful management.
Understanding these different stages can help patients manage their oral health and prevent the progression of gum disease.
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