Your gums are the foundation for your teeth, and when they are not healthy, your teeth are at risk.
If you’ve ever noticed blood in the sink after brushing or flossing or that your gums appear red and irritated, you may be experiencing the first stages of gum disease.
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is detrimental to your oral health and will result in tooth loss if it’s left untreated. It also has an impact on your overall health and well-being. We now understand just how much gum disease contributes to other health concerns in the body.
What Is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is best described as an infection of your gums and jawbone. It is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria, which irritates your gums and causes them to separate from your teeth. This allows bacteria below the gum line, which causes the infection in your bone.
Excessive plaque buildup occurs when you don’t brush and floss properly at home or have regular checkups with your dentist. Your dentist can detect gum disease much earlier than you can, and your hygienist will remove the plaque buildup that causes gum disease during your cleaning appointment.
A good home care routine and six-month checkups at your dentist are the best ways to protect your oral health against gum disease.
Treating Gum Disease
If you are proactive about taking care of your oral health, gum disease can be detected early on in many cases. The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis, and it can often be successfully managed with a thorough professional cleaning and improvements to your home care routine.
Advanced gum disease, known as periodontitis, will require a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing to remove the buildup occurring below the gum line. Antibiotic therapy may be recommended in some cases, and, in serious cases, surgery may be necessary to preserve your oral health.
Gum Disease and Your Overall Health
Studies have also shown us that the same bacteria that cause gum disease also contribute to other health issues in the body such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. The bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to other areas of the body, contributing to inflammation associated with these other issues. Protecting your oral health also means looking out for your overall health and well-being.
Do you have questions about your periodontal health? Is it time for your next routine visit? Gateway is here to help!
Even if it’s been a while since you’ve visited a dentist, it’s never too late to get your oral health back on track. Give Gateway Dental a call today to schedule your next appointment.