The world of dentistry is changing like many other areas in our lives, says principal dentist Nick Allday from Manor Dental Health in Hull.
The newest area to take dentists’ attention is the way we should be assessing your gums, the actions we should take once we have assessed them and what to do once we have classified your gum condition.
In days gone by dentists were taught that gum disease was a consequence of patients not cleaning their teeth properly and the dentist or hygienist had to get in there ASAP. If the response was not good enough then the patient just wasn’t cleaning their teeth well enough.
The fight against gum disease
While this holds true to some degree; we still need to get rid of this bacterial biofilm, there are other factors that tip the balance of success in our patients’ fight against gum disease. (A biofilm comprises any group of microorganisms in which cells stick to each other and often also to a surface.)
The genetics of gum health
These are what we call risk factors. There are two types of risk factor: manageable and non-manageable. Non-manageable risk factors are essentially genetic – you have the built-in genetics that make your gums respond in the wrong way to a bacterial biofilm. Unfortunately, at present science cannot alter these genetics.
Lifestyle changes to improve gum health
One the other side are manageable factors, such as smoking, certain illnesses, stress, lack of exercise, depression, loneliness and poor nutrition. If you smoke 10 cigarettes a day you are 3 to 7 times more at risk of gum disease than non-smokers, and those with diabetes that is not controlled are 3 times more at risk.
It’s these that we can look for and concentrate on as long as we also use all the tools at our disposal to remove the biofilm, such as professional deep cleaning during your appointments and regularly using inter dental brushes and meticulous tooth brushing at home.
Next month we will take a look at the scores we give the health of your gums and how we need to rethink what we do next.
If you have any concerns about the health of your gums, please talk to us. Contact us now for details or to book an appointment. Our door is always open to new patients from across Hull, Beverley and Cottingham.