HOW GUM DISEASE CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH
Gum (or periodontal disease) is an infection of gums and bone around your teeth. It is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria found in plaque (deposits that accumulate daily around the teeth and gums). These attack the tissues around the teeth, eventually causing inflammation, gum and bone destruction. Research has found that gum disease may also contribute to the following systemic diseases:
- Heart Disease – has long been linked to periodontal disease. Inflammation in gum disease may be responsible for this and may exacerbate heart conditions.
- Diabetes – this relationship may go both ways: severe periodontal disease may increase blood sugar, and diabetics are more prone to infections, including those of the gums.
- Stroke – a study found that people diagnosed with stroke were more likely to have an oral infection
- Lung disease – bacteria that grow in the mouth can be aspirated into the lungs, and potentially cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia
- Osteoporosis – decreased bone density associated with osteoporosis may also affect the jaw, meaning teeth may no longer have a solid foundation and support, which can be further undermined by bacteria found in the gum pockets. Cumulatively this may lead to bone destruction and loss.
Other health factors that periodontitis has been associated with are prostate inflammation, impotence, certain cancers in men, and pregnancy complications in women.
Gum disease is largely preventable and can be easily treated by:
- Brushing your teeth and tongue, especially after eating
- Flossing – removes food and plaque from between your teeth where toothbrush can’t reach
- Mouthwash – can flush remaining food particles out, and certain medicated mouthwashes (such as Curasept and Savacol) are helpful in eliminating bacteria which causes periodontitis
- Knowing your risks – age, smoking, poor diet, genetics can all increase the risks of gum disease
- Seeing a dentist regularly – during your regular 6-monthly check-ups we will evaluate the health of your gums. Early detection of gum disease will ensure quick and straight-forward treatment. Progressive gum disease may need more comprehensive, extensive treatment or referral to a specialist (periodontist)
So don’t delay and contact us on 9531 6387 to make your periodontal review appointment NOW!