Maintaining healthy gums is not only paramount to exhibiting aesthetically-pleasing personal qualities such as a nice smile but also may have far reaching consequences in determining an individual’s overall health and well-being in both the near and distant future. This short article will highlight several ways in which the gums can impact general bodily health. Remember, our Port Washington dentist office specializes in oral care and gum health. Be sure to schedule your annual checkup with one of our dentists today for a full screening on gum health!
Failure to regularly perform oral care maintenance actions like tooth brushing, utilizing floss to remove food and other particles that may collect between the teeth and receiving regular and thorough dental and periodontal checkups can precipitate two types of gum infections known respectively as gingivitis and periodontitis. Though considered a mild oral malady, gingivitis can elicit several bothersome symptoms such as gums that are swollen, red, sensitive and easily susceptible to bleeding. Should this disease not be adequately managed, it could be the harbinger of the more serious oral ailment periodontitis, which precipitates more painful manifestations of the symptoms associated with gingivitis and can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Should gum disease progress, a stricken individual might notice pain while eating and drinking or may find performing actions like chewing difficult. In instances where he or she has experienced a significant degree of tooth loss, consuming certain foods altogether might be challenging. Prolonged eating challenges might precipitate problems that could one day manifest in a host of nutritional deficiencies and other diseases.
People with gum disease often have an increased concentration of bacteria circulating throughout their mouths. In some cases, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems, this bacteria can spread beyond the mouth, enter the bloodstream and potentially cause infection to a vital organ or bodily region.
Heart And Circulation Problems
Scientific studies conducted have shown the bacteria that enters the bloodstream via the oral route may also precipitate inflammation, or swelling in the areas of the body in which it collects. One region these microbial organisms are believed to collect is in and around the blood vessels in the heart. Eventually, this process could lead to atherosclerosis, or a hardening of the arteries, which may contribute to heart attacks and interrupted circulation.
Other scientific research has concluded that uncontrolled blood sugar may lead to oral maladies. Diabetes typically causes a thickening of the blood vessels which can result in a decrease in the body’s ability to eliminate waste products such as the plaque and bacteria that builds up on teeth.
Poor oral care is also believed to potentially contribute to other medical conditions such as premature birth, respiratory ailments, and low birth-weight in infants born to stricken mothers.
How Can These Problems Be Avoided
The best way to avoid oral maladies is to devote significant attention to maintaining oral care. Most dentists recommend brushing of the teeth at least several times per day and flossing after each meal. In addition, dentists and periodontists recommend that their patients receive routine oral and periodontal checkups. However, should any significant dental or periodontal malady develop, patients might need to prevent the spread of such ailments by undergoing more aggressive forms of non-surgical gum treatments such as gum laser treatments.