Missing dental check-ups by even just a short period can seriously increase the risk of gum disease, warn oral hygiene experts.
It follows increasing concern in the media that the cost of dental care and challenging economic conditions are prompting more families to skip dental check-ups.
This has become a growing issue. A British Dental Health Association study in 2009 showed that one-fifth of adults had delayed treatment because of cost. Two years later purse-strings are now even tighter.
Regular check-ups are vital to ensure that plaque – the main cause of gum disease – is identified and removed by dental professionals.
If not removed by twice-daily tooth brushing, it takes only 48 hours for the plaque biofilm to harden and become tartar, which is then very difficult to remove.
Plaque and tartar left unchecked can swiftly lead to the early signs of gum disease – such as swollen gums, warn the manufacturers of Eludril mouthwash and Elgydium toothpaste.
People should have dental check-ups at least every six months – or even more frequently if they are already suffering from gum disease.
‘Missing dental check-ups is a false economy that will lead only to the need for more serious and expensive treatment for dental cavities and the effects of gum disease,’ said a spokesperson for Eludril and Elgydium.
‘The old saying of ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ has always been a good principle when it comes to dental care. One should always get treatment at the first signs of gum disease.’
Unfortunately, it is often not until people suffer from sore gums that they start to notice a problem – and by then they could have saved themselves the pain and damage to their gums.
Bleeding gums are an all-too visible sign of gum disease that has been left untreated for too long. And yet some people still mistakenly believe that they are an occasional ‘normal’ occurrence.
Ignoring the problem can lead to receding gums – putting teeth at risk. They can become loose, potentially requiring extraction.
Missing a dental check-up means that gum disease symptoms could go undiagnosed for months and can leave gums in a particularly vulnerable state.
This all makes our daily oral routine even more important, as this will help reduce the cost of dental care by keeping gum disease at bay.
So what should we be doing on a daily basis?
Brushing teeth regularly and properly is an obvious first step – but not everyone realises the importance of regularly checking and replacing worn toothbrushes.
Poor quality toothbrushes are a false economy. The first sign of wear should be the signal to discard and replace a toothbrush. Never use the same toothbrush for more than three months. Bin it and buy another.
Choosing the right toothpaste is also important. It can be difficult with such a bewildering array on offer.
Elgydium is a high quality medicinal toothpaste that can be used every day to help prevent gum disease. Unlike many other toothpastes, it contains chlorhexidine – recognised by oral health care professionals as the antibacterial and antifungal treatment of choice against gum disease.
The Elgydium range includes:
Elgydium Anti-Plaque – first introduced in the UK in 1998
Elgydium Sensitive – which contains Fluorinol, a fluoride that binds to enamel five times more effectively than ordinary fluoride
Elgydium Whitening with micropulverised sodium bicarbonate for non-abrasive polishing and in-depth cleansing.
Chlorhexidine is also the active ingredient in Eludril medicated mouthwash, which is recommended as a short-term treatment for gum disease. A single rinse can work for up to 12 hours.
Chlorhexidine is a tried and trusted gingivitis treatment with a medical track record that dates back at least three decades.
It is highly effective at killing off the bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease, making it dentists’ antiseptic of reference in periodontics and implantology.
For maximum efficacy, Eludril should be used in a dosage of 15ml (for adults and children aged over 6) that has been diluted with lukewarm water using the special measuring cup provided. Eludril has a pleasant menthol flavour and comes in three pack sizes.
Eludril can also be used as a disinfectant for dentures. They should be soaked for an hour in a one in three dilution of Eludril with water.