Gum disease can really wreak havoc on your gums, teeth and even the underlying bone. But did you know that advanced gum disease can also cause serious systemic health problems?
Gum inflammation or gingivitis occurs when bacteria plaque collects on the teeth and is caused by inadequate oral health care.
Gingivitis can worsen into gum disease or periodontitis where the gums actually pull away from the teeth, leaving pockets where debris can collect. The gums become infected and ultimately the connective tissue and bone holding the teeth break down.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Swollen and tender gums
- Receding gums that make the teeth look longer
- Bleeding when brushing and flossing
- Extra spacing between teeth
- Loose teeth
Serious Gum Disease Can Cause Systemic Health Problems
Periodontal disease has been linked to other serious health conditions such as:
- Diabetes especially where this disease is uncontrolled.
- Dementia – periodontal problems may be connected to mild cognitive impairment.
- Heart disease – individuals with gum disease are more likely to have heart attacks and other forms of heart disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
Scientists believe that bacteria from the diseased gums travels into the bloodstream and causes harm to major organs. Inflammation is an underlying problem in many serious diseases and periodontitis may increase the inflammation found elsewhere in the body.
Prevent Gum Disease With Good Oral Care
The key to preventing gum disease is to minimize the effect of plaque on the teeth and gums:
- Brush carefully twice a day to remove most of the bacteria and plaque.
- Floss every day to get at plaque between the teeth and below the gum line.
- Limit sugary and starchy foods.
- Visit us every 6 months for professional cleanings and oral examinations.
Please let us know if you notice any problems with your gums or teeth.
Let Us Help Keep Your Gums and Teeth Healthy
Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.