Are your gums red, swollen or tender? Do your gums bleed while you are brushing, flossing? Do you have gums that are receding and or pulling away from your teeth? I think we have all experienced one or more of these symptoms. This is an issue that we can not sweep under the rug. If untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and can have damaging effects on your overall health.
What causes gum disease?
This is something none of us want to think about. But it has to be said; our mouths are full of bacteria and bacteria causes inflammation that is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease and is treatable if you brush and floss daily and don’t forget your regular dental visits. If gingivitis goes untreated, it can lead to periodontal disease; this is where your gums can potentially pull away from your teeth
Gum disease also known as periodontal disease is a gum infection that damages the gums and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. You may not be aware, but gum disease affects 85% of adults.
We here at Harmony Dental are aware of the connection between your physical and oral health. We are concerned for our patient’s overall well-being and want to provide you with all the latest information available such as the two articles I am quoting below.
What are some symptoms of gum disease?
- Redness or bleeding
- Gum swelling
- Bad breath
- Gingival recession
- Loose teeth (in later stages)
- Deep pockets
The Harvard Health Letter notes that proper care for teeth and gums may lower your risk of developing heart disease. Inflammation from gum disease produces chemicals that get into the blood. Certain chemicals can increase inflammation in atherosclerosis plaques in the heart’s arteries, and when those chemicals reach the heart, they can do damage. All of this contributes to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Take it to heart and care for your teeth and gums.
- To prevent gum disease:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss once a day.
- Visit our hygienists here at Harmony Dental for cleanings.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk for gum disease.
*Source: National Institutes of Health, National Institutes on Aging
Japanese researchers found that 26 percent of hemorrhagic stroke patients they studied had specific bacteria in their saliva that may stick to aging blood vessels, weakening them and possibly causing their strokes. See Dr. da Costa regularly for your check-ups, and brush and floss faithfully at home.