Did you know that the condition of your teeth and gums is vital to your overall well-being? Gum disease is an infection, typically caused by poor oral hygiene that makes your gums red, swollen, and bleed. But these are just the effects you can see. Gum disease, and the bacterial infection that causes it can have long-reaching effects on your overall health as well. Learn more as Dr. Troyan explains how gum disease affects your health and how you can prevent problems from happening with proper oral care.
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth. It’s caused by oral bacteria and plaque that build up when not properly removed through regular brushing and flossing. In the beginning stage, called gingivitis, the infection causes inflammation that makes your gums sore and swollen. One of the first signs of gingivitis is seeing blood when you brush and floss your teeth. If left untreated, it will progress to periodontitis in which the gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where more bacteria and plaque collect. Without proper treatment the infection will continue to progress, eventually causing tooth loss.
Tooth Loss and Poor Nutrition
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States. The gum disease infection destroys supportive gum and bone tissues so that teeth eventually become loose and either fall out on their own or need to be extracted. Teeth play an important role in nutrition as chewing is the first step in the digestion process. It’s important to properly break down your food before swallowing so your body can fully absorb its nutrients. Missing teeth not only diminish chewing ability but also make it difficult to eat certain foods, especially healthy raw vegetables. The result is a less nutritious diet and vitamin deficiencies.
Link to Systemic Diseases
A growing body of research is showing a link between gum disease and inflammatory systemic conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. What is the cause of this link? Researchers used to think oral bacteria traveling through the bloodstream lead to these systemic problems. However, new research is pointing to inflammation, caused by the gum disease infection, as the cause. In any case, treating gum disease is shown to help prevent and manage some chronic systemic conditions.
Following proper oral care is the most important thing you can do to prevent gum disease from developing. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time and flossing at least once a day will go a long way to reduce your risk of developing oral infections. It’s also important to get regular professional cleanings at least twice a year to remove any plaque buildup that has formed around your gum line.
If you already have gum disease, it’s important to seek the proper treatment as soon as possible. In the early stages of gum disease treatment is highly successful, but if left untreated for too long it will lead to irreparable damage and tooth loss. If you suspect you have gum disease, Dr. Troyan will conduct a thorough periodontal assessment to determine if you have any infection that needs treatment. If an infection is present, we will suggest a course of deep cleaning periodontal treatments to help restore your gum health and avoid further damage and tooth loss.
Proper oral care at home is the best way to prevent gum disease from developing. But if you’re concerned you may have periodontal disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Troyan for a thorough examination. Getting a proper diagnosis is the first step toward receiving the treatment you need. Contact Royal Dental Care today!
Dr. Peter Troyan
Royal Dental Care
7601 W Montrose Ave. Suite 2
Norridge, IL 60706