Ask Our Dentist – Healthy Gums

Clean teeth and gums for a healthy mouth.

Today’s question comes from a Burton patient who feels that there may be problems with his gums.

Q. I am in my early twenties and have a good set of teeth and brush them day and night. Often though, when I brush my teeth, there is a little blood when I spit. I saw an advert on TV last night which indicated that this could be something to do with gum disease. I have also noticed a nasty taste in my mouth and my girlfriend commented that my breath wasn’t fresh the other day. I always presumed I had just scratched my gums .. should I be concerned?

Hi, and thank you for your question. In brief, I would say, yes, you should be concerned, but there is no immediate need to panic. Gum disease can be treated effectively and managed if it is caught soon enough. The indication of blood when you spit though, together with the other symptoms, does suggest that you need to see one of our Burton dentists as soon as possible so that we can examine you. Bleeding, inflamed and sore gums are some of the more common signs of gum disease, and, although you brush your teeth, you also need to clean your gums gently and use floss to remove food particles and bacteria. Sadly, only around one in five people do this at the moment.

The important thing now is to make an appointment with us at Mike Allen’s Dental Practice as soon as possible. As I said earlier, gum disease is relatively easily treated if detected early. Essentially, providing that it has not gone too far, what will happen is that you will be given a thorough clean of the teeth and gums. This removes any hardened bacteria (tartar) from both the teeth and gum line. You will also be given advice on maintaining a healthy mouth too, following the treatment. Depending on what we find, you may be called back for additional hygiene treatments to help get your oral health fully back on track.

In the event that we find a problem and it has actually advanced, a deep clean, or root planing, may be necessary and you may be referred to a specialist. This involves a similar procedure to the above, but this time, the roots of the teeth will also need to be cleaned under a local anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort. I would strongly recommend that you do not simply ignore the possible signs of gum disease. If you allow this to advance without receiving treatment, the “nasty” bacteria involved will eventually start to eat away at the bone in the jaw that holds your teeth in place. In time, this will cause them to become unstable, and tooth loss can occur.

To arrange an appointment with us, please call Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345.