Looking for additional reasons to care for your teeth and gums? Did you know that poor oral health can be linked with problems in other parts of the body?
Gum disease is a swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. The initial stage of gum disease is gingivitis and if left untreated it can progress to periodontal disease which is irreversible. Gingivitis is where the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen and the gums will often bleed when they are brushed.
Gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene which allows plaque to build up on the surface of teeth and gums. As well as affecting your teeth and gums, poor oral health can cause or make worse heart disease, strokes, diabetes and lung disease.
People with gum disease are twice as likely to have coronary artery disease than those without gum disease. Gum disease allows bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream. The bacteria produce protein which can cause the platelets in the blood to stick together reducing the normal blood flow. This means that the heart, brain and other organs will not get all the nutrients and oxygen it needs. If the clots become big enough they can cause a heart attack or stroke.
If you suffer with diabetes it is important that gum disease is diagnosed as it can lead to an increase in your blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of diabetic complications. Diabetics also heal more slowly so it is especially important to ensure that you have in place a good oral hygiene routine to reduce the risk of developing gum disease which can further exacerbate your condition.
The bacteria present if you suffer from gum disease, can enter the lungs as you breath causing bacterial chest infections. Although everyone has bacteria present in their mouth, this is greatly increased if you suffer from gum disease. This can especially affect the elderly or those with a lower immune system.
Signs of Gum disease
- inflammation of the gums, causing them to be red, swollen and to bleed easily, especially when brushing
- an unpleasant taste in your mouth
- bad breath
- loose teeth
- regular mouth infections
If you notice any of these signs you should speak to your dentist who will be able to investigate further.
Keeping your smile healthy
Your dental team will remove all the plaque from your teeth and advise you on the best dental aids to use to maintain your oral hygiene routine in between visits. The best way to prevent gum disease is to put in place a good oral hygiene routine.
- Brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean your teeth interdentally daily using floss, tape or interdental brushes
- Stop smoking
- Attend for regular dental appointments
If you are at all concerned about your teeth or believe you may be suffering with gum disease call The Essex Smile Centre on 01268 742 333 and book an appointment for a consultation today.