Did you know gum disease (periodontitis) affects more than oral health? Many people don’t, but the chronic infection that causes gum disease can spread throughout the body. Gum disease is connected to many serious health conditions. The team at Magnolia Dental Care wants you to know the signs, associated conditions, and risk factors of gum disease.
The mildest form of gum disease is gingivitis. It’s caused by plaque buildup on the teeth inflaming the gums. It can be reversed with good oral hygiene practices, but, if left untreated, it progresses to gum disease. This infection can destroy gum tissue and the bone surrounding the teeth. The bacteria that cause gum disease can spread through your body and contribute to serious health problems.
Know the Signs of Gum Disease
Before the next time you brush, take a moment to look at your teeth and gums. A quick visual inspection may help you identify signs of gum disease early. Is there any redness or swelling? Look at your gum line (the area where the teeth and gums meet) to see if your gums are pulling away from the teeth.
If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, it can indicate early gum disease. Other signs to look for include persistent bad breath, loose permanent teeth, and changes in the way your teeth come together.
Diseases and Conditions Linked to Gum Disease
There are many serious health conditions linked to gum disease, like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Also, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, and premature births have a connection to this disease. If these conditions affect you or anyone you know, pay close attention to your oral health. Notify your dentist if you experience any changes.
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Drinking heavily
- Poor nutrition
- Immune system deficiencies
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Poor oral hygiene
As we’ve learned, gum disease is linked to many health problems. If we catch it early, we can stop it or offer treatment if you have gum disease. To help prevent it, maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and flossing once a day.
Also, schedule regular appointments for dental exams and cleanings. How long has it been since your last dental visit? Contact our office to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in Seattle, Washington, and the surrounding areas.