Healthy gums are essential to help prevent tooth loss, and also for general health. A regular visit to a dental hygienist or therapist can present or treat periodontal (gum) disease, which severely affects around 15% of the population. Many more people suffer from milder forms of the disease.
Periodontal disease results from the build-up of plaque bacteria on the teeth, which leads to an immune response in the gums. This is part of the body’s natural defence mechanism, but an excessive response can result in inflammation. In time, this will damage the gums, ligaments and bone that support the teeth, often leading to tooth loss.