Oral healthcare is about more than just keeping your breath fresh and your teeth looking nice. The health of your mouth can affect other areas of your body as well. That’s why it’s so important to maintain a regular oral health routine that includes brushing twice per day, flossing and using mouthwash once per day, and visiting the dentist for a checkup twice per year. At American Dental, we know that caring for your gums is crucial to your overall health. Here is some more information about the connection between your gum health and the health of your entire body.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Your mouth is home to many different types of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. Some of these are helpful, while others are known to cause issues like tooth decay and infections. The microorganisms in your mouth feed on sugars and other nutrients in the food you eat.
When harmful bacterial colonies grow out of control, the byproducts they produce damage the teeth and gums. They also form a film in your mouth known as plaque. If plaque is not removed regularly, it can harden and form tartar, especially along the gum line. Prolonged contact with tartar causes the gums to become inflamed, and eventually they will start to recede and expose the roots of your teeth. Left unchecked, this condition can cause tooth loss and other issues.
How is Gum Health Connected to other Conditions?
Although it is not completely understood, the medical community has long recognized the link between inflammation in the gums and other conditions. According to Harvard Health Publishing, people with gum disease are at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, pregnancy complications, and dementia. Diabetes researchers have also observed that treating gum disease can reduce the severity of diabetes symptoms. While more research into this connection is needed, it’s clear to those in the medical community that maintaining healthy gums puts your body in a better position to deal with other health problems.
Preventing Gum Disease
If you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy, the best thing to do is maintain the oral health routine listed above. In addition, other lifestyle factors can have an impact on your gum health. Using tobacco products and eating an unhealthy diet can not only damage your gums, but can also contribute to interrelated conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. You should also keep an eye out for the early symptoms of gums disease, which include swelling, bleeding, and receding gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, get to a dentist right away so they can assess your condition.
If you live in the Chicago area and looking for a dentist in Chicago, American Dental has 7 locations for your convenience. Click the “Make an Appointment” button and find the location nearest you and schedule your appointment today. Whether you just need a regular dental checkup or you are concerned about the health of your gums, our friendly and professional staff is here to help you.