For all our intent focus on safeguarding the one set of healthy, natural permanent teeth you’ll ever have from gum disease and other oral ailments, the Oasis Dental Milton family recognizes that the teeth and gums are no different from the rest of the human body in one very important, very basic sense: an attack on your mouth can quickly become an attack on the rest of your body.
It’s a bit of a “Wait, hear us out…” proposition upon first hearing it, the ways our patients stave off several varieties of gum disease can have major ramifications that run all the way to body’s circulatory system. Ample evidence points to gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal diseases that attack the gums and bones supporting the teeth being closely linked to the onset of heart disease.
Not that there’s ever a convincing argument against adopt consistent, positive oral health habits and always having an eye on the condition of your gums, but if they deteriorate to a condition less than a firm, light pink and highly elastic portrait of good health, then an immediate check-up is definitely in order.
Certain genetic markers may make you more prone to gum and periodontal diseases, especially if they just happen to run in your family’s history. Watch especially carefully for these telltale signs of a developing condition:
– Brushing and/or flossing causes bleeding
– Pus buildup on the gums
– Painful biting or chewing
– Loose teeth
– Swollen and red gums
– Receding gums, more of a tooth becoming visible over time
To state the obvious, any signs of unhealthy gums that persists over weeks or months is a valid reason to contact a dental professional to set an appointment. The sooner many conditions can be diagnosed and prescribed treatment, the more likely they can be rectified while in the infancy of their onset before they can develop into much larger-scale, complicated issues that only become more costly to fix as time wears on. That being said, several gum and periodontal diseases have been linked especially closely to subsequent heart issues, often due to risks of spreading infections:
– The earliest, most commonly known gum disease stage is GINGIVITIS. Redness, swelling and/or bleeding are all signs of a growing bacteria buildup between the gums and one tooth or several teeth. Fortunately, this is also the easiest to treat. Your dentist will likely prescribe more diligent brushing and flossing habits and perhaps a quality mouthwash.
– PERIODONTITIS develops as a gingivitis infection deepens further into the gums. Infected pockets form between the gums and their teeth as toxins released by embedded bacteria swell gum tissue. If you’ve noticed a receding gum line, it could mean that the infection has sunk deep enough in that it can begin damaging the bone under the gums.
– “Unfortunately”, wisdom teeth don’t always full erupt through the gums. Painful as that experience is in and of itself, when they only push partway through the tissue – a condition called PERICORONITIS – food and plaque have opportunities to wedge themselves beneath the partially emerged tooth’s loose gum flap. This resulting gum disease results in a painful and swollen infection that can spread through the cheeks and neck if not allowed to fester.
– All things considered, CAVITIES may seem like the least of worries. They shouldn’t be. These tiny holes in enamel are ordinarily associated with general tooth decay, but can also stem from aggressive bacteria. These microorganisms can play a major role in developing gum diseases without causing them “directly”; gingivitis or periodontitis can eventually emerge from a cavity that irritates the gums over time, much like other dental and periodontal issues such as missing teeth, abscesses and other conditions meriting an immediate examination.
Of course, not all causes of gum disease are necessarily tied to oral health routines. Periodontal disease risk factors often increase with the added presence of conditions such as diabetes and arthritis that affect the immune system and the body’s capacity to heal itself. Also, many drugs that treat conditions such as depression and heart disease, among others, have tendencies to dry out the mouth and deprive it of saliva that ordinarily battles bacteria on a constant basis.
Fortunately, the best steps to prevent periodontal and gum diseases that can spread and worsen into much more threatening conditions are the kinds of things your mother was probably on you about from the time you were old enough to brush – starting with brushing your teeth well and brushing often. The standard is to give one’s teeth a once-over at least twice a day, but brushing properly is also a must. Pockets of plaque easily evade bristles pressed too hard from side to side, while the brushing itself actually tears at the gums – another chance for infection. A circular motion, on the other hand, digs out the debris that have dug into the teeth-gums gap. A dentist-recommended antiseptic mouthwash and toothpaste combination may also help control bacteria and plaque buildup that can easily give way to gum disease.
Your eating habits may not be doing yourself any favors, if your gums are already looking unhealthy. Your body has a steeper uphill climb defeating infections and healing without the vitamins it needs and craves. If you’re a smoker, quit, while you’re at it. The American Academy of Periodontology recognizes smoking as one of periodontal disease’s most severe risk factors. A balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients and putting down the cigarettes could be a giant step.
Finally, stick with a regular checkup and cleaning schedule with Oasis Dental Milton. Twice a year isn’t always enough. That’s a fine bare-minimum level of maintenance, but if you believe gum disease or another periodontal issue has begun setting in, contact us to set up more frequent visits. The rest of your body may thank you.