Heart Disease, Diabetes, Respiratory Infection, Low Birth Weight And Your Gums

Preventing gum disease should be on the forefront of every person’s mind, just like exercising and eating right, says Marietta Dentist.  Brushing and flossing are one of the most important daily activities a person can do to affect their overall health.  It is well documented that a healthy mouth is linked to a healthy body.  The bacteria in your mouth causes inflammation in the bloodstream. Diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infection, low birth weight can be affected by your gums.  Therefore, prevention of periodontal (gum) disease is important.

As periodontal disease progresses, gums recede and pockets form. Unkept gums become red, swollen and begin to bleed, which is an active infection in the mouth.  The pockets fill with bacteria deep between and around teeth.  Over time, the pockets deepen and the gums separate from the tooth indicating periodontal disease.  The bleeding is an entry point for bacteria to enter the blood stream.

Brushing for two complete minutes a day with a Sonicare tooth-brush and daily flossing help remove plaque that forms on teeth.  With out proper brushing and professional cleanings, a hard substance called calculus forms, trapping bacteria along the gumline  and in between teeth.  A professional cleaning at the dentist is the only way to remove it.  Normal healthy tissue fits tightly around your teeth.  If you have periodontal disease, your gums have progressed to an unhealthy state because of plaque.  The bacteria that lives in the plaque causes the gums to recede and eventually destroys the bone holding the tooth in place.  If the plaque is not cleaned away daily, tissue becomes red, puffy and irritated, eventually forming a pocket where bacteria will thrive.  If not reversed, the loss of teeth will occur.

Gum disease can affect people of all ages.  For the most part, periodontal disease does not have warning signs or cause pain until it is well advanced.  If you have bleeding, receding, swollen or tender gums, teeth are separating or shifting, have bad breath, you may have periodontal disease.

The key is to keep your gums healthy is seeing a dentist regularly, and if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, schedule an appointment.  If he tells you your gums have a periodontal condition, it will not go away on its own.  Your dentist may suggest a procedure called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) where he will numb an area or your mouth, clean the plaque and tartar deep below your gumline down to the bottom of your pockets.   This treatment will usually require several visits if you have full mouth periodontal condition.  After you are cleaned, your gum tissue may reattach to your tooth.  If your periodontal disease is advanced, it is possible you will be referred to a specialist called a periodontist for more extensive treatment.

Much research is currently being done concerning a person’s periodontal condition and other disease outside the oral cavity.  Bacteria from an unhealthy mouth can enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc.  The key to good oral health is prevention of a periodontal condition.   Good hygiene practices at home, teeth cleaning visits to the dentist, and a healthy diet help maintain the journey to great oral health.

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