How Gum Disease Hurts More Than Your Mouth

Dr. Perlman discusses with a blonde patient how to protect her oral health and overall health from the effects of gum disease

Gum disease is no small concern: it is the most common cause of tooth loss for adults. Not only can it wreak havoc on your mouth and teeth, it can also have a severe impact on your overall health. Today, our team at Elevate Smile Design wants to share some information about gum disease so you can prevent it.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is when your gums become irritated, inflamed, and eventually infected. It has two stages, gingivitis (inflamed gums) and periodontitis (infected gums). Early warning signs of gum disease include gums that easily bleed, gums that are bright red or swollen, or gums that recede from teeth.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Poor oral hygiene is the number one cause for gum disease. Without proper brushing, flossing, rinsing, and dental cleanings, the bacteria in your mouth can accumulate along your teeth and gumline into a sticky biofilm called plaque. If not cleaned away during daily dental care, plaque will harden into tartar, which must be removed by a dental professional. Tartar is incredibly irritating to gums and will cause them to recede and pull away from your teeth. These pockets allow even more bacteria to build up and cause infection and loosening of your teeth.

The Heart of the Matter

Not only does gum disease affect your teeth and mouth, it can also affect your heart. Studies show that the inflammation of gums and increased presence of bacteria in your mouth can lead to the narrowing of arteries that pump blood to your heart, increasing your risk for heart disease and other complications.

How Can You Avoid Gum Disease?

With gum disease, the best defense is a good offense. Practice good oral hygiene at home by brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time and flossing each day. Additionally, drink plenty of water, chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating, avoid smoking, and eat a nutritious diet low in added sugar. Proper oral care will prevent bacterial plaque from building up on your teeth and will contribute to a healthy body. But if you are already struggling with gum disease, our team can provide treatment. We will do all we can to prevent loss of your natural teeth.

To ask our team any questions about how to have healthy gums, or to schedule your next checkup at our Spanaway dental office, contact us today!

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