Protect Your Gums! The Link Between Periodontal Disease and Systemic Health.

Daily oral care is vital to overall health. Food debris can quickly build up in the mouth, which can lead to many serious issues. One such condition is periodontal disease, an infection of the gums and other structures surrounding and attaching teeth. This infection causes a loss of the normal tissues surrounding the teeth that support them. It can worsen throughout the course of three stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

The signs of periodontal disease

Stages of periodontal disease

It’s important to pay attention to early warning signs that may be occurring in order to prevent the onset of periodontal disease. Just because some of these symptoms are painless doesn’t mean they aren’t amounting to serious damage!

Pay close attention to your gums as you are brushing and flossing twice a day. If they are bleeding and feel tender during your oral care routine, have a closer look inside your mouth. This is the first stage of the disease, known as gingivitis. Take note if your gums appear swollen, red, and appear to be receding away from teeth, as this may indicate the second stage of the disease, periodontitis.

If you feel as though you have a constant bad taste in your mouth, or you often experience bad breath, this is also cause for concern. In advanced periodontitis, the third and most advanced stage of the disease, teeth can also become loose.

Causes

Periodontal disease is caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky substance that’s produced naturally by the body in the mouth as a response to the food we eat. Found on the teeth, plaque is a community of microorganisms that is complex in nature and, thus, hard to remove once it forms. Even though it can’t be seen, plaque can cause great harm to the mouth and body if not removed promptly.

Furthermore, a recent clinical study showed that certain bacteria found in plaque actually catalyzes an immune response that creates the onset of periodontal disease. Oral health truly relates to the overall health of the body!

How to prevent it?

Daily oral care and wellness is an absolute must, in order to prevent the buildup of bacteria from plaque that contributes to the onset of periodontal disease. Brushing and flossing, when done properly, are effective modes of preventative care. Be sure to choose quality products and have your dentist show you how to brush and floss correctly.

Visit your dentist at least once every six months for a professional cleaning. This must be done in order to remove plaque in harder to reach places, such as below the gum line. If you think you already have periodontal disease, it’s advised that you should have dental cleanings more often.

Avoid smoking and the use of tobacco, as it can expedite the development of plaque buildup in the mouth. In fact, some smokers with periodontal disease are resistant to some forms of treatment because of this habit.

The impact on your health

Physicians and dentists have studied whether there is a direct correlation between oral health and overall health for many years. Inflammation of the gums caused by periodontal disease can cause bacteria from plaque to intensify. Because gums are full of blood vessels, the disruption of this sensitive layer allows bacteria to directly enter the bloodstream.

Recent studies, like this one, show that the condition of periodontal disease can lead to other serious systemic issues in the body. These include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes (such as premature birth), and osteoporosis.

If you have questions or concerns on how periodontal disease affects your health, what the signs of periodontal disease are or want to schedule a checkup and teeth cleaning contact us at Tru Family Dental to make an appointment today.

Posted In: Oral & Dental Health Tips