You’ve heard about what happens to your gums when plaque is allowed to build up. Your gums become tender and puffy, the gum tissue starts to pull away from the teeth, and the area becomes infected. With a deep cleaning, the problem can usually be resolved. But the problems stemming from gum disease can just be beginning.The link between gum disease and systemic health problems has been researched for many years, and recent studies continue to show a potential association. Why wait for the American Dental Association to make a definitive statement? By keeping your gums healthy today, you could be avoiding untold problems. Read on for some motivation to keep infection away from your gum line.
When it comes to disease awareness in America, heart disease is one of the problems of which we tend to be aware. But that hasn’t stopped it from being the leading cause of death in our country. Even if you’re focusing on heart disease prevention in your own life, those measures might not be enough. In addition to monitoring your cholesterol and blood pressure, you should be tending to your gums.
Research is still uncovering exactly why gum disease seems to trigger problems with blood flow and your heart’s performance. There are a few theories, most of which have to do with migratory inflammation. When gum disease is taking hold, the soft tissues in your mouth become irritated by plaque. They swell up and pull away from your teeth. Elsewhere in the body, this inflammation may be mimicked – leading to thickened arteries and the heart having to work harder.
Systemic problems may also be linked to the specific bacteria that arise in the mouth during gum disease. One recent study found that the periodontal bacteria suppress the immune system’s response, so that they can proliferate and feed off inflammation.
In addition to heart disease, periodontitis can complicate:
Take important steps today to see a future without these kinds of concerns. It all starts with building healthy gums. In addition to preventing potential problems, you’ll support a long-lasting, beautiful smile, maintain the kind of confidence that stems from healthy teeth, and keep you out of the dental chair.
Gum disease begins with subtle inflammation of the gums. This is a sign that there’s plaque building up on the tooth roots and gums, and that gingivitis is taking hold. It’s crucial that you catch the problem in its early stages, before it can become something that’s difficult to treat.
It’s absolutely necessary that you schedule dental exams every six months (or more, if you’re in a higher risk category). Only a trained eye can recognize some of the subtle, early signs of gingivitis. Of course, you should also pay attention during your daily oral hygiene. Contact us right away if you notice:
If we come across your gingivitis before it’s had a chance to mature, we’ll be able to control it with simple treatment (typically a deep cleaning of the tooth roots and gum line). You will follow up at home by flossing carefully and thoroughly, using a medicated mouthwash, and following a low-sugar diet.
Just get in touch with our practice to learn more about keeping your gums (and teeth) healthy.