Gum disease can affect your heart and body health in a number ways. Healthy gums are essential to healthy teeth. Your gums give your teeth a firm foundation, and together with your bone, they hold your teeth in their sockets.
Periodontal disease is preventable, and with the right tools and knowledge you can even reverse gingivitis, or early gum disease.
How You Get Periodontal Disease
Plaque is a clear or yellow biofilm containing bacteria, and it forms daily on your teeth and at the point where your teeth and gums come together. You can remove this daily plaque formation by regular brushing and flossing. Plaque that isn’t removed turns into tartar, and simply brushing and flossing cannot detach tartar. Your gums may grow infected where the tooth meets the gums, also called the point of attachment.
You may first notice some bleeding when you floss and brush, which signals early stages of gum disease, or gingivitis. You can still reverse gingivitis with routine dental cleanings and exceptional oral hygiene. If you don’t treat your gingivitis, the bacteria grow in small pockets between your teeth and gums. The infection will make your gums tender and swollen, and your gum tissue will begin deteriorating. These symptoms occur when gingivitis advances to periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease and Your Oral Health
Periodontal disease is harmful to your gums and teeth. You may notice your bite has changed, and your teeth have trouble fitting together. You may experience pain when chewing food and your teeth may be sensitive. Gum disease can make your breath foul and make your gums swollen, tender and sore. Your gums will redden and often will bleed.
Severe cases of gum disease may cause your gums to pull away from your teeth and form pockets. Bacteria collect in these pockets, and your gums may continue to pull back. Some of you may have experienced loose teeth from this, and some of you may have even lost teeth to periodontal disease. Dental implants can restore the missing teeth you’ve lost to periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease and Your Total Body Health
Periodontal disease can put you at risk for diseases that affect other parts of your body, including heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory diseases and certain types of cancer. Scientists are still searching for the exact link between heart disease and periodontal disease, but it’s proven that periodontal disease puts you at higher risk for heart disease and strokes. Diabetic patients have an interesting relationship with periodontal disease. Your elevated blood sugar levels make it harder for you to remove plaque. In turn, your periodontal disease can make it difficult to control your blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients should understand that gum health is essential to their health.
“Researchers found that men with gum disease were 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers,” according to the American Academy of Periodontology.
Periodontal disease can also cause you to have a preterm or low birth weight baby, and some research has shown periodontal disease to be an increased risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
Preventing Your Periodontal Disease
Pay attention to your gums. Have your gums changed color? Do your gums bleed when you floss and brush? Are your gums swollen or tender? Gum disease can create other changes in your mouth, including bad breath and sensitive teeth. You should schedule an appointment with your general dentist if any of these issues applies to you.
Straight teeth are less likely to hide bacteria and form plaque. Aligning teeth will make it easier for you to brush and floss, and you’ll enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile. Traditional braces bring their own oral hygiene obstacles, but there’s an alignment answer that will let you continue your flossing and brushing regimens.
Treating Your Periodontal Disease
Depending on the severity of your case, our dental team can help treat your periodontal disease with one of the following treatments: laser therapy, root planing, gingival graft, crown lengthening and gingivectomy. Discuss your concerns with your dentist. He may recommend treat treatment specific to your periodontal disease.
The best periodontal disease defense is a good offense – floss at least once a day, brush at least twice a day and schedule regular visits with your Hinton cosmetic dentist. Periodontal disease is preventable with the right knowledge and dental care.