Despite the Covid pandemic and all of its challenges, it is important to continue to highlight other health related issues.
Gum Health Day is an international awareness day held every year on 12 May to increase public awareness of the seriousness of gum disease and the health problems associated with it. In fact, gum disease has even been described as a silent epidemic which effects eight out of ten people over the age of thirty-five.
There are two types of gum disease, gingivitis causes redness and swelling of the gums. If this is neglected it may advance to the more serious periodontal disease, causing inflammation around the tooth with the gum pulling away from the teeth, leading to wobbly teeth and tooth loss.
Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease, smokers are more likely to get periodontal disease and prematurely lose their teeth than non-smokers. Problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body, and people with gum disease may be at risk of heart disease. Research also shows a link between gum disease and diabetes. Poorly controlled diabetes increases the risk of periodontal disease development, which in turn can make it more difficult to control diabetes. People with diabetes should be encouraged to have a good oral hygiene routine and regular visits to their dentist.
It’s also worth noting that hormonal changes during pregnancy can make women’s gums more vulnerable to pregnancy gingivitis. Advice to pregnant women about their oral health during pregnancy is important to both the mother and baby. Making healthy choices can positively affect their baby's development including their teeth
One of the first symptoms of gum disease that you may experience is bleeding gums. Healthy gums don't bleed after brushing your teeth. The Dental Health Foundation would like to assure everyone that gingivitis can be reversed by keeping gums strong and healthy with good oral hygiene. This is done in two easy steps, by removing plaque - brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day, and by visiting the dentist for a regular check-up, at least once a year.
Remember that gum disease is preventable, so keep brushing those pearly whites and improve your quality of life.
For more information see www.efp.org