Gum disease ? otherwise known as ?periodontitis? or ?periodontal disease? ? isn?t just a condition that affects your mouth. While it is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults, periodontal infections also have a significant impact on your overall level of wellness.
Since many people don’t understand how infections in your mouth can effect your entire body, I created this blog to help highlight some of the facts about gum disease!
The Oral-Systemic Health Link
Active gum infections such as periodontal disease cause the gingiva (gum tissues) to detach from the tooth, creating a deep pocket under the gums where bacteria thrive. Unfortunately, the body?s immune system attacks such areas in an attempt to control the infection. This leads to extra blood flow, swelling, and progression of tissue detachment if not treated by our Newport Beach dentists.
When all of these conditions come together, it allows the plaque biofilm from the mouth to spread directly into the blood supply and travel throughout the body via the circulatory system. To date, researchers have found such bacterial deposits lodge within the heart, brain, and arterial walls of individuals that have suffered from heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
The more severe the gum disease is, the worse a person?s general health tends to be?and vice versa.
Addressing periodontal disease is the first step in preventing tooth loss and immune strain due to oral infection. It may even improve the body?s ability to better control underlying health issues rather than be so strained that it cannot effectively manage any of them.
For years, people have said that the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body. And it?s true. The health of a person?s oral tissues is often a reflection of the level of health in other tissues. When inflammation and bleeding are constantly at play, just imagine what can?t be seen elsewhere within the body.
Other Health Conditions Linked
Your heart and cardiovascular health aren?t the only things at risk if you have gum disease. Scientists have shown that the more severe periodontitis is, the higher the likelihood there is to suffer from conditions like:
- Pneumonia and respiratory disease (from inhaling the bacteria)
- Erectile dysfunction
- Preeclampsia and pre-term labor
- Infertility in both men and women
- Alzheimer?s disease
By managing, reversing, or eliminating gum infections, you can boost your body?s ability to maintain better overall health. Some situations even see a reversal in symptoms (such as infertility) within a few months of treating periodontitis.
How to Know if You Have Gum Disease
Symptoms of periodontal disease usually start off with classic gingivitis: mild swelling, irritation, or redness of the gum tissues along the edges next to teeth (gums also bleed easily upon brushing). But left untreated, they progressively worsen and involve additional concerns, such as:
- Receding gumlines
- Bad breath
- Tooth mobility
- Sore teeth
- Food catching under the gums or between teeth during meals
- Bleeding gums
To find out if you have gum disease and how severe it is, we?ll perform a periodontal evaluation during your appointment with our Newport Beach dentist, Dr. Desiree Yazdan.
Tooth by tooth, we?ll measure the level of gum attachment to find out if the tissues are detaching from the root surfaces and by how much. We may also take a series of X-rays to evaluate the bone levels around your teeth.
If gum disease is evident, The Center for Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry will provide you with a care plan outlining a series of deep cleanings and maintenance appointments. While gingivitis can be completely reversed, periodontal disease cannot. The only option is to treat it and stop it from progressing before it leads to tooth loss. If severe structural loss has occurred, we can also recommend bone or soft tissue grafting to help stabilize the teeth.
Additional soft tissue therapy with dental lasers can help to fully eradicate all infectious bacteria while preserving the healthy tissues around them. It?s just one of the ways we?re providing advanced and non-surgical periodontal therapy to our patients in Newport Beach, CA.
A Healthier Smile = A Healthier You
When you’re teeth are healthier, you’re entire body is healthier!
So now, I ask you. . .are you experiencing signs of gum disease? Perhaps you?re struggling with your blood pressure, trying to get pregnant, or recently suffered from a stroke. Dr. Yazdan invites you to schedule a gum health evaluation to learn more about how oral inflammation and infection can play a role in your body?s overall immune system and wellness.
Call The Center for Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry in Newport Beach today to schedule your first appointment.
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