Gum or periodontal disease is the number 1 cause of tooth loss in adults. In the Adult Dental Health Survey of 2009 it was found that more than two thirds of adults had gum disease.The main causative factor in both tooth decay and gum disease is dental plaque. Plaque grows on teeth and inadequate daily cleaning can leave plaque behind to stagnate and cause damage. Plaque growing near gum margins is an irritant to the gums and results in inflammation which is the start of gum disease. If unchecked, the inflammation spreads to affect the ligaments and bone that support the teeth and gums, causing destruction of the bone and in more advanced cases, tooth loss. Unfortunately gum disease progresses painlessly on the whole so you don’t notice the damage it is doing. Apart from possible sore gums, it is only when the disease is more advanced that it can lead to gum abscesses and pus oozing from around the teeth.
Plaque can be removed by good oral hygiene on a daily basis. Hygienists can formulate individual cleaning plans so that you can be sure your oral hygiene routine minimises your risk of gum disease Hygienists not only remove plaque which is too well organised or “sticky” to remove by regular tooth brushing but also the plaque that has calcified or hardened into calculus (sometimes called tartar).