You would never consider building a house on a foundation that wasn’t secure, right? Then you should probably feel the same about the health of your gums since they are the foundation for your teeth. Gums that are infected or unhealthy put your teeth at risk. Your dentist has some critical information about why healthy gums are so important, and some of it may surprise you!
How Healthy Gums Affect Your Health
Did you know that a healthy mouth also plays an integral role in your overall health and well-being? It’s true! Studies have shown a direct correlation between the bacteria that cause gum disease, and the inflammation causing other health concerns like dementia, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even complications during pregnancy. It seems that because bacteria can enter the bloodstream, that inflammation-causing all of these problems is the same, and if you have gum disease you’re at a higher risk of having these other issues and vice versa.
What Is Gum Disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease occurs when your gums and jawbone become infected due to large amounts of plaque and tartar buildup. If the infection is left untreated, it will eventually destroy your soft tissues and bone and result in tooth loss. This condition is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.
Be Aware of These Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be a tricky condition to diagnose, especially on your own because there are not many symptoms at first. So many people aren’t even aware that they have it, and this is why visiting your dentist every six months for examinations is so essential.
The first stage of gum disease known as gingivitis can often be identified with gums that are red, swollen or bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. Chronic bad breath that you can’t get rid of is also a sign of gingivitis. When it’s detected early on, gingivitis can often be successfully managed with a thorough professional cleaning and improvements to your home care routine.
Periodontitis is advanced gum disease, and now you may notice things like your teeth feeling loose, or your gums receding, or you experience tenderness or discomfort when chewing. Periodontitis requires a deep cleaning that eliminates infection and plaque buildup from below the gum line. Antibiotic therapy or surgery for very advanced cases of periodontitis may also be recommended.
Your Best Defense
Visiting your dentist consistently every six months is the best way to protect your oral health from gum disease. Your dentist can detect it in its earliest stages, and also show you ways that you can combat this disease at home with improvements to your home care routine.
Contact your dentist today to schedule your next appointment.
About the Author
If you’ve noticed any symptoms of gum disease, Dr. Sheri McIntosh and her team are here to help! Not only can we treat your condition, but we’ll also do it by providing exceptional dental service from the friendliest dentist in Keller, TX!
To contact Dr. McIntosh, call Distinguished Dental at 817-337-8300 or through her website.