gum disease

Gum disease is a thoroughly unpleasant condition which causes gums to become inflamed, painful and sometimes infected. As nasty as it is in isolation, it is also believed to be linked with many other more serious conditions, and a recent study has revealed that it is also linked with early-onset labour.

According to a report published recently in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, women who went into early labour were much more likely to have gum disease than not. Almost half of the women in the study (45%) who went into premature labour had gum disease, compared with 29% of the sample who did not. Periodontology is the study of the specialised system of hard and soft tissues that supports your teeth and maintains their position in the jaw.

This study supports many others which indicate that oral health has a big impact on our overall health and wellbeing.

Dr Nigel Carter, the Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, reflected on these findings and says “the health of our mouth can have a direct influence on many parts of our general health. This includes the chances of having a safer birth. Many women find it more difficult to maintain good oral health during pregnancy.  This is because hormonal changes during this time can leave gums more vulnerable to plaque and more likely to be sore and swollen. They may even bleed.”

As many pregnant women find it more difficult to keep their teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy, ensuring that women know how best to prevent gum disease and how to recognise the signs will help them take necessary steps to try and keep their oral hygiene as good as possible during pregnancy and afterwards.

The advice for everyone, not just pregnant women, for looking after their teeth and gums effectively includes:

  • Brushing teeth at least twice a day
  • Using fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing or using an interdental brush to get in between the gaps in your teeth
  • Not smoking
  • Consuming alcohol in moderation

Taking preventative measures to remain healthy

Here at CK Dental in Bristol, we always advise our patients that prevention is better than cure. Looking after your oral health and doing everything you can to prevent gum disease is always going to be a better option than trying to fix it once it has occurred, especially if it has brought with it more serious medical complications.

If you do, however, feel you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease then please do get in touch to discuss the most suitable treatment options. Call us on 0117 905 9866 to book a consultation.

baby teeth Bristol dentistsMilk teeth is the name given to the tiny teeth that young children get before their adult teeth come through. Milk teeth start to come through from as early as five to ten months old and stay with infants until they are around 5 or 6 years old before they gradually start falling out. This continues, with milk teeth being replaced by adult teeth for a number of years, with most children losing most of their milk teeth by around 10 or 12 years old. However, some people don’t lose their back milk teeth until well into their late teens.

Although the milk teeth are temporary, they are paving the way for the adult teeth that you’ll keep for the rest of your life. So what happens if one gets knocked out?

Prematurely lost milk teeth

If an adult tooth is knocked out, the advice is to put it back in as quickly as possible and to seek urgent dental help. If a milk tooth is knocked out it is important that you do not try and place it back into the hole it came from as it is impossible to tell how developed the adult tooth is underneath. If you try to re-insert a knocked out milk tooth then you can accidentally harm the adult tooth below.

If a child has lost a milk tooth prematurely, keep the tooth clean, don’t touch the root and store it in milk until you can get to the dentist – which you must do urgently.

If a milk tooth is knocked out before it is ready then it can have implications on the adult teeth below. Adult teeth will move in to fill spaces vacated by missing milk teeth, so if one gets knocked out and leaves a space earlier than it should do then this can lead to overcrowding of adult teeth later in life.

Overcrowded teeth can be fixed by a range of different orthodontic options like braces, but it is always better to try to avoid overcrowding occurring, rather than having to fix it later in life.

Here at CK Dental we advise taking great care of milk teeth as they set up your child’s mouth for the rest of their lives. Keep milk teeth clean, brush them regularly and if your child is interested in sports then encourage them to wear a gum shield to protect delicate milk teeth from taking a knock. Remember, if an accident occurs and a milk tooth is damaged, come to see us as quickly as possible so that we can help prevent further damage.