Oral health is more important than you might think. That’s because problems in your mouth can potentially impact your whole body.
Doctors, dentists, and researchers have been investigating the connection between oral health and general health for decades. One matter that they’ve looked into is the link between gum disease and cardiovascular problems. Here’s what you need to know.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease (periodontal disease) starts as gingivitis, or red and inflamed gums. It is the result of poor dental hygiene. For lack of brushing and flossing, bacteria have multiplied and spread from tooth enamel to the gums. Their acid excretions cause tooth enamel to decay and cause gums to start withdrawing from the tooth surfaces, enlarging the tiny pockets between teeth and gums. When you do brush or floss, the gums could bleed.
If gingivitis is left unchecked, it progresses to full gum disease. Now the bacteria are beneath the gumline and gums have pulled further away from the teeth, creating larger and larger pockets, where bacteria can happily increase, further enlarge the pockets, and so on, in a vicious cycle. Infection sets in and can spread into the jawbone. Since the gums are bleeding, bacteria can enter the bloodstream.
Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Studies indicate that the inflammation, oral bacteria, and infection associated with advanced gum disease might contribute to other diseases and conditions. In terms of cardiovascular disease, there may be a link between periodontitis and heart disease, stroke, and blocked arteries.
The connection is not fully understood. In the future, experts may well establish a causative relationship between gum disease and other diseases. For now, more research is needed.
What You Can Do
Prevention is the best solution. Don't let things get so far. Make sure you visit us regularly for professional cleanings to remove buildup and check-ups to catch decay early. At home, brush and floss every day.
If you have periodontal disease, it's important to seek treatment. Our Calgary dental practice offers scaling and root planing to restore your gums to optimal health.
Contact Aesthetic Dental Studio at 403-543-4600 to schedule a consultation or appointment. Dr. Gordon Chee sees patients from Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie, and nearby areas of Alberta.