Millions of Americans experience gum disease and its various symptoms, from tooth decay to gum recession. Besides oral health, gum disease negatively impacts the health of the whole body, especially for adults with pre-existing conditions. It’s crucial to understand how oral health plays a role in your overall health, how to curb the risk of gum disease and cut down its effect on the body.
What is Gum disease?
Bacteria naturally live in our smile, similar to how they live in our digestive system. Gum disease comes about when bad bacteria are more prominent in the smile and are given the fuel to expand. Leftover food particles and sugars are the resources gum disease needs to develop and spread. The most severe symptoms of gum disease include extensive plaque, infected gums, and decay or oral structures.
How does it hurt my health?
As gum disease spreads, the bacteria can enter the blood stream and affect other tissues. Studies have found that individuals at risk include those who have sensitive health situations such as:
• Heart Disease or Heart Problems
• Expectant mothers
For those with heart conditions, gum disease can contribute to inefficient blood flow through arteries, which increases the chances of stroke. When it comes to diabetics, who are already prone to oral infection, gum disease disrupts the body’s ability to balance sugar levels, increasing the need for good dental hygiene. In these studies on gum disease, a loose connection has been found between expectant mothers with gum disease giving birth too early, and too infants smaller than they should. Overall, it has been found to be detrimental to the general health of those affected.
Reducing the Risk
Visiting the dentist is just part of achieving a healthy smile, as oral home care is equally important in preventing decay and the spread of gum disease. Brushing and flossing regularly will support a healthy balance of bacteria in the smile, reduce tooth staining and plaque build-up, and improve how your breath smells. Here are some other ways to limit the advancement of gum disease:
• Remove excess sugar from your diet
• Drink alcohol in moderation
• Limit tobacco smoking (or remove altogether)
Our Downtown Honolulu Practice Supports a Healthy Smile
Dr. Dennis Nagata treats individuals gently, using compassionate care to improve your dentition. Call or visit our practice to receive the dental care you need.