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Healthy Gums Monday, December 6, 2010

What causes gum disease?
The main cause of gum disease is dental plaque. Plaque is the sticky layer that collects on the surface of your teeth and gums and contains bacteria. This plaque can become hardened and form into a surface layer of tartar (calculus). The bacteria in the tartar continue to attack the tissues that support the root of your tooth.
How can I tell if I have gum disease?
If you have gingivitis:
• Your gums will be red in colour rather than the usual healthy pink.
• They will also tend to be slightly puffy or swollen.
• Inflamed gums also bleed, usually when you brush your teeth or bite into something hard such as an apple.
• In severe cases your gums may bleed of their own accord.
If you think you have any of these symptoms, don’t ignore them, ask your dentist.
Who can get gum disease?
90% of the population are estimated to suffer at some point in their life to a greater or lesser degree. Gingivitis can affect anyone of any age, although it is less likely in younger children. Some groups are more at risk, such as pregnant women, due to hormonal changes.
How can I prevent gum disease?
The best way to avoid or alleviate gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day for at least two minutes. Use floss or interdental brushes at least once a day to clean between your teeth and remove plaque, in particular from around the gum margin.
Sensitive teeth and gingivitis
Gingivitis and receding gums can cause the neck of your tooth to become exposed, an area which is sensitive to hot and cold. If you find that you feel pain when eating or drinking hot or cold food and drinks then you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. Ask your dentist or hygienist for advice on treating the condition.
Twice daily brushing with a sensitive toothpaste, such as SENSOdYNE Rapid, can help stop the pain of sensitive teeth.

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