While having sparkling, white teeth is great, it’s not always a sign of a good oral health. Yes, oral health goes far beyond than just have sparkling pearly whites. Your gums play a big part in your oral health, and even your overall health.
Your gums are the barrier that actually help prevent inflammation that may damage your body. As a matter of fact, periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and premature births or low-birth weight in infants.
For those that don’t know, periodontal disease can progress into several different stages. Good news is, with regular brushing and flossing, regular visits to your dentist, most people can prevent devolving periodontal disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by the bacteria found in plaque, that sticky film that forms on the surface of your teeth. If the plaque isn’t removed by preforming proper oral care, such as brushing and flossing, it will invade the small spaces in-between your gums and teeth.
If the plaque is left to settle, your gums can becomes inflamed and infected, putting them, your teeth and overall health at risk. If gum disease progresses and is left untreated, it can become painful and expensive to treat.
Periodontal Disease and Health Risks
- Heart Disease- Several studies have shown that people with gum disease are very likely to have poor health, including heart attacks. In 2009 a paper on the relationship between gum disease and heart disease was issued by the American Academy of Periodontology and The American Journal of Cardiology. It was recommend that cardiologists ask about any gum disease issues, and that periodontists ask patients about their heart health and if there is any family history of heart disease.
- Diabetes- If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you are more likely to have gum disease. Of course inflammation may be partly to blame. Also, those with diabetes are more likely to contract infections, one being gum disease, and if your diabetes isn’t under control you’re at even higher risk to develop gum disease.
- Premature Births- Although studies are still ongoing, some research has found a link between premature birth and gum disease. A few researchers have found women that have had periodontal disease treated, helps them carry their baby to full term.
- Dementia- Some studies have found that gum disease may raise the risk of dementia later on in life. Others research shows that periodontal problems may be associated with mild cognitive impairment, such as memory problems that can make daily life more difficult.
You’re oral health extremely important to your overall health. So if you’re suffering from periodontal disease, be sure to keep plaque under control by brushing twice a day, flossing and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, visit your dentist for professional teeth cleanings on a regular basis.
To learn more about what you can do about periodontal disease, contact Dr. Gary Wetzel at 717-761-8611 to schedule an appointment today. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Gary Wetzel and his team, visit www.wetzelperio.com.
Dr. Gary Wetzel proudly accepts patients from New Cumberland, Harrisburg, York and Carlisle.