Gum disease leaflet launched

A new medical information leaflet has been launched to raise awareness of periodontal disease

A new medical information leaflet has been launched by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Irish Dental Hygienists Association and Dublin Dental University Hospital to raise awareness of periodontal disease.

The publication describes a silent disease that can damage a person’s health and is a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, bacterial pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis and other systemic disorders.

Dr Steve Kerrigan, senior lecturer in pharmacology in RCSI, said: “Gum disease is a chronic infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth, leading to red, swollen and tender gums. When most people think of a healthy smile, they picture straight, white teeth. Many people never stop to consider the health of the gums and bone supporting the teeth that allow for a nice smile.

“Over time, the inflammation as a result of gum disease causes the gums and bones surrounding the teeth to recede and teeth to fall out, changing the overall look of a person’s face, mouth and smile.”