Periodontitis – A Serious Threat To Your Teeth

Avoiding tooth loss through gum disease with better dental care.

Dental decay is often perceived to be the largest cause of tooth loss by many people; in fact, it is not the main cause. This dubious ‘honour’ falls to an advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis.

This is a serious oral health problem, and potentially a general health one too, but more of that later. The tragedy of it though is, that it is easy to avoid periodontitis with a little care and attention.

Good oral health

It all starts with good oral health care at home. Regular brushing and flossing will help to keep the bad bacteria that contribute to gum disease at a manageable level. Poor brushing or neglecting to floss may well result in a build up in the number of bad bacteria and our gums can then suffer. The initial symptoms of gum disease may include sore or red gums as well as bleeding when the teeth are brushed. If you spot any of these signs, you should arrange a prompt appointment with one of our Wickford dentists who will be able to assess the degree of the problem.

In some cases, it may be that the gum disease is not very advanced and an improved cleaning regime may be all that is required. In other cases, treatment may be needed.

Scale and polish

Once bacteria has hardened and attached to the teeth and on the gum line, no amount of home cleaning will be able to remove it and professional dental treatment will then be necessary. This is not a highly invasive treatment however and a scale and polish is usually applied which removes the plaque and helps restore the teeth and gums to good health. If gum disease is not treated at an early stage, it can lead to periodontitis which is a more serious matter altogether.

Once gum disease has reached this advanced stage, there can be severe consequences; a likely one being that the disease attacks the bone that holds the teeth in place. As the density of bone degrades, it eventually will no longer be able to fulfil its role in holding the tooth in place and tooth loss will occur.

Much recent medical research is also now indicating that gum disease, and especially periodontitis, may also be damaging for other aspects of our health including heart problems and potentially Alzheimer’s disease too.


Although all of this seems like bad news, the reality is that gum disease can be prevented with good brushing and flossing, as well as regular visits to the Cygnet dental practice in Wickford, Essex. Our dental team will be able to remove problematic plaque build up, often in places that the patient finds difficult to keep clean, such as the back of the rear teeth and we will also advise you on the best ways to look after your teeth and gums at home.

If you have not visited a dentist in some time, now is a good time to get your oral health in good shape. Our friendly Essex dentists are here to help, and appointments can be made by calling us on 01268 733078.