Latest News in Gum Health

Gilly and Sadie were fortunate to be able to spend a day with Phil Ower, the president of the British Society of Periodontology at the annual Lothian Independent Dental Practitioners Study Day.

Phil had some very interesting things to say which we have been passing  on to our patients. Gum disease comes from a combination of factors  and some people are more prone to it than others. The main cause is dental plaque but each person’s reaction to plaque differs. A relationship has been established between gum disease and heart disease, although the exact cause is not known yet.

It is up to us as dentists, hygienists and hygiene therapists to get our patients to accept responsibility for their own gum condition. Coming to the practice for cleaning is not enough, time has to be spent daily by the patient to get rid of all plaque or “the biofilm”. Phil suggests 10-15 minutes of cleaning daily for periodontal disease prone individuals. He also suggests attaching this to a particular time of day, for example listening to “The Archers”! If that’s what you like!

Some of this probably sounds very familiar as it is exactly what we have been saying for years! Although without mentioning The Archers…

Phil Ower suggests that the link between gum disease and heart disease it is to do with  inflammatory mediators from gum disease. In other words if your gums  are reacting to plaque by becoming inflamed, this reaction can also be happening in the heart and possibly other parts of the body.

This means that everybody should be doing everything to keep their gums as healthy as possible- another familiar message from Stafford Street Dental Care!


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