Gum disease affects most people without them knowing it. That’s because the symptoms of gingivitis and early periodontitis are not painful and not easily detected. Nevertheless, as tartar builds up and this disease develops over time, it becomes a large issue.
Periodontal disease can affect the heart and invade other parts of the body, contributing to threatening systemic disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontitis is an infectious disease that damages the gums and jawbone. Gingivitis develops from plaque buildup that turns to tartar. As more bacteria collect on gums, it has a compounding effect on health where it affects the soft and hard tissues and exacerbates general health issues.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Redness and swelling
- Sensitive Teeth
- Loose Teeth
- Receding Gums
- Tooth Loss
As periodontal disease develops, pockets form between gums and teeth where bacteria colonize. Pathogens enter the bloodstream through these pockets and slowly make their way through the body, infecting the cardiovascular and circulatory systems.
Studies have shown a link between gum disease and a higher risk for heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, gum disease is also linked with diabetes, contributing to irregular blood sugar levels, making it difficult to control insulin.
Prevent Periodontal Disease with At-Home Care
Gum disease is entirely preventable. Maintaining a strict routine of brushing at least twice a day and flossing before bed can greatly improve a person’s defense against infection. Further, individuals can rinse with antiseptic mouthwash to eliminate the majority of gingivitis-causing bacteria and proactively protect their smile.
While maintaining an excellent hygiene routine is the foundation for cleaning teeth, keeping a positive oral environment decreases chances of developing the disease in the first place. This is accomplished by following a well-balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables. Another aspect of your diet to consider is avoiding foods with added sugar, such as candy or soda.
Improve your defense against dental issues like gingivitis and decay by staying proactive with your oral health. Dr. Leslie Ferrara and Dr. Maria A. Upshaw are dedicated to helping people achieve and maintain optimal oral health through reliable dental care. Call our dental practice and schedule an appointment to find how to keep your smile looking its best.