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Healthy Gums Healthy You

Healthy Gums, Healthy You: Understanding gum health and periodontal disease

Nowadays, most people will retain their teeth for life, provided that they maintain strong and healthy gums and supporting bone structures. However, 8 out 10 people suffer from periodontal (gum) disease and may be blissfully unaware, since symptoms appear much later than those caused by tooth decay. Gum health is particularly worsened by poor oral hygiene, an unhealthy lifestyle, irregular visits to the dentist, inadequate tooth fillings, stress, compromised immunity, and some genetic traits.

Signs of periodontal disease include red, swollen, tender and bleeding gums, plus persistent bad breath. In addition, the gums may appear receded and the teeth feel loose, perhaps resulting in a change in your bite. If untreated, then gum disease will eventually lead to tooth loss.

Saumya also believes that oral health both reflects and influences our general health. Research studies have shown how gum disease influences sugar levels in diabetics, affects cardiovascular (heart) disease and causes low birth weight in babies. It has also been shown to have a link with obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic obstructive lung disease.

At the Priestgate Clinic, we can offer meticulous, individually tailored periodontal care, from hygienist visits through to specialist gum reconstruction. This involves a definitive diagnosis along with preventive, therapeutic and supportive periodontal treatment. Dr Saumya Sharma, a dentist with a special interest in periodontology and dental implants, says, ‘Looking after the health of your gums is imperative. Our teeth help us chew and digest food and speak clearly. They also maintain our face shape and are the bedrock of our smile – our passport to the people around us.’ Saumya also explains, ‘We understand how some people can be reluctant to seek periodontal treatment due to their fear of dentists or sheer ignorance of the implications of this disease. Therefore, at the Priestgate Clinic, we will assure you of a professional, evidence-based, yet warm approach to your periodontal care. We place special emphasis on educating you and supporting you through your journey with us. We will devise a periodontal health program that is easy to comprehend and follow for your lifelong benefit.’

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