Norfolk Dental Specialists
Posted on 30th June 2017

Why Good Oral Hygiene Should Be Encouraged from A Young Age

dental hygiene examination
If you are reading this and have young children, you are probably already looking after your children's teeth. However there is plenty of research out there that suggests parents in the UK are neglecting their children’s teeth. 
Research from 2014 found that only 57% of parents ensured that their children had brushed their teeth properly. Meanwhile, recent research from the Faculty of Dental Survey found that 80% of one and two year olds had not visited an NHS dentist during 2016-17 and that there had been a 24% rise in the number of tooth extractions on children aged under four.
Now whilst we are not a general NHS dental practice and do not treat young children, we often see the results in adulthood of not adopting good oral hygiene from a young age. Failure to do so can result in tooth decay, extractions and gum disease in later life. Gum disease in particular is what we see and treat regularly in our patients and we therefore wanted to look at the causes of gum disease, to help you maintain good oral health.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is actually a very common condition and presents itself with swollen, sore or infected gums. A large percentage of adults in the UK have some level of gum disease and most people will experience it at least once in their lifetime.
What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?
There are a number of factors that can lead to gum disease. These include:
  • Plaque: The most common cause of gum disease is plaque – the thick layer of bacteria that forms on your teeth and gums. If you are flossing and brushing thoroughly each day, this should be enough to remove the plaque. However, it can harden and form tartar if left.
  • Overlapping Teeth: Uneven teeth can be a harbour for plaque, which can build and create a breeding ground for gum disease.
  • Smoking: Gum tissue cells can also be affected if you are a smoker and could make your mouth more susceptible to gum disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
In most instances and especially in the early stages, gum disease will not be painful and you may be unaware that you have it. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis and you should be looking out for: 
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss your teeth
If these go untreated, the tissues and bone that support your teeth can become affected and this is commonly known as periodontal disease. At this point you are likely to experience:
  • Bad breath
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • You may loose teeth, which can make chewing food difficult.
  • Gum abscesses. 
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
Looking after your teeth and gums from an early age should ensure that they last a lifetime. If you have concerns about your oral hygiene, we can offer you guidance. Our hygienists utilise some of the latest and most advanced dental hygiene technologies, and can recommend the most suitable products and techniques for you. Please don’t hesitate to call our reception on 01603 632525 to book an appointment with one of our hygienists.
Over the years we have received lots of positive feedback from our patients and we know that hearing 'real people' talk about their treatment and experiences goes a long way to reassuring prospective patients. 
For every review we receive during the month of July, we will be donating £25 on behalf of our patients to the Sandra Chapman Centre at the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth.
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