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Periodontal treatment should be part of your daily regime

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You can put off that visit to a periodontist – simply by brushing at least twice a day! Here’s how.

Why is it that so many medical or dental ailments crop up over a long weekend – when your G.P. or dentist is out of contact for a full three days. Maybe it’s a psychological problem, but whatever the reason, our surgery always seems extra packed on the Tuesday after a long weekend.


Very frequently, it’s for something fairly minor – perhaps a filling has come loose, or maybe there’s a sudden dart of pain that wasn’t there before. On other occasions, however, it can be something much more serious – and we’d place periodontal disease quite close to the top of that list.


This may surprise you, as you may suspect that this is a form of disease that strikes everybody at some stage or another – so what's the big deal?

Well you're quite right to suggest that periodontal disease – also known as gum disease – is very common. As many as 80% of the population can suffer from it at any given time.


But here’s the important thing to remember. For most of us, it’s sorted very quickly and effectively by upping your dental care regime. This is because the root cause of periodontal disease is harmful bacteria, and by using anti-bacterial toothpaste and mouthwash, you nip it in the bud.


Not all bacteria are harmful, of course. The good bacteria in our gut, for example, plays a huge part in maintaining a healthy digestive system. The bacteria that attack our teeth, however, are nowhere near as benign. They’re not powerful enough to harm the teeth, per se, but they undermine the gums, which in turn puts the teeth at risk.


And when this happens, it’s very definitely time to schedule a visit to your periodontist. By the time you notice sever inflammation or reddening of the gums, it’s time to bring in a professional, who can make sure that your teeth are not undermined by damaged gums. And please remember that even people with beautiful white teeth can be subject to gum disease – simply by slacking off in their dental care regime.


One of the big ‘tricks’ that bacteria have up their sleeve is their power to reproduce at a frightening rate. And in as little as twelve hours, they can have multiplied to a stage where they can start to do their work – and not in a good way! This is why dentists always say that your minimum dental care regime should include brushing your teeth twice a day. This knocks the bacteria back, and they have to start all over again.


This presumes, of course, that the mouthwash or toothpaste you use has an anti-bacterial function. Make sure that you don't become blinded by claims to deliver whiter teeth or fresher breath – you should NEVER buy toothpaste or mouthwash that doesn't have an anti-bacterial function. Otherwise, you can be heading for some very painful and potentially expensive periodontal treatment.


If you suspect you may be suffering from the early stages of gum disease, here’s a handy article to read from the website of the Dental Health Foundation - http://www.dentalhealth.ie/dentalhealth/causes/periodontaldisease.html