Your gums do a lot more than just hold your teeth in place. The health of your gums is intrinsically linked to your overall health and wellbeing. As your trusted family dentist will tell you, poor gum health can have resounding effects on systemic diseases throughout your entire body.
Gum disease creates a breeding ground for harmful bacteria to enter your bloodstream and have a detrimental effect on your cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine systems and more. That’s why maintaining good gum care is so crucial for your whole body – not just your teeth.
Let’s walk through the critical connections between your gum health and overall vitality.
Gum Disease: A Closer Look
Gum disease begins when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, starts to build up around your teeth and gums. Without proper brushing and flossing, the plaque hardens into tartar that can only be removed at the dentist.
The plaque bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed and infected, known as gingivitis. When left unchecked, the damage can advance to periodontitis, which destroys the soft gum tissue and bone structure under the gums.
Gum disease is highly prevalent, with over 50% of adults having some level of gum infection. But with diligent oral hygiene and professional cleanings at your family dentist, you can contain gum disease and prevent extensive damage.
Gum Infections and Heart Disease Go Hand-in-Hand
One of the most extensively researched connections is between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. The bacteria from gum infections can spread through your bloodstream after entering your blood through diseased gum tissue.
These harmful bacteria cause systemic inflammation and can damage blood vessels and arteries over time. Individuals with gum disease have been found to have a 24-35% higher risk of heart attack and are nearly twice as likely to have clogged arteries.
Managing gum infections with medicated mouth rinses and professional dental treatment can help reduce inflammation and cardiovascular risks.
Gum Bacteria Can Spread to the Lungs
The harmful bacteria that take hold in infected gums don’t just stay in the mouth – they can spread to the rest of the body. One way these germs can spread is by being inhaled into the lungs through the mouth and throat.
When gum disease bacteria end up in the lungs, it can lead to respiratory infections like pneumonia. Even if you have healthy lungs, it’s still important to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing properly helps prevent bacteria in your mouth from proliferating and potentially getting into your lungs.
Gum Disease Worsens Diabetes Symptoms
Diabetes makes your gums more prone to bacterial infection and inflammation. In turn, gum disease makes diabetes much more difficult to manage and control. The two conditions tend to influence each other in a vicious cycle.
High blood sugar creates a prime environment for gum infections to develop. The presence of gum disease generates inflammation that makes it harder to regulate blood sugar levels properly. Keeping diabetes in check through lifestyle and medication can help ward off gum disease.
Gum Infections Raise Pregnancy Risks
Pregnancy brings hormonal changes that make gum tissue more sensitive and vulnerable to inflammation and infection. This means pregnant women have a significantly higher risk of developing gum disease during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, gum disease during pregnancy also correlates to a higher chance of delivering preterm or low birth weight infants. Expectant mothers should pay close attention to gum swelling, sensitivity, and bleeding and alert their dentist.
Protect Overall Wellness Through Gum Care
Given the extensive links between gum health and systemic wellbeing, preventing gum disease is imperative for keeping your whole body healthy. Here are practical tips to maintain excellent gum care:
- Brush thoroughly twice a day
- Floss daily to remove built-up bacteria
- Use antiseptic mouthwash to eliminate gum germs
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet
- Quit smoking to help gum tissue heal
- Visit your family dentist for regular cleanings and checkups
Living with healthy gums benefits more than just your smile – it optimizes your overall wellness. Don’t underestimate the importance of gum health.
The connections between our oral health and overall well being are clear. While we often view our mouth separately from the rest of our body, it is intimately linked to our total health. Poor gum health can have resounding effects throughout the body, from increasing risk of heart disease to impacting lung infections, diabetes, and pregnancy outcomes.
The good news is that diligent oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings can go a long way in preventing gum disease and its effects on our overall health. Our gum health deserves just as much care and attention as the rest of our body. With proper prevention and treatment, we can enjoy the healthy mouth and body we deserve.
Visit Your Trusted Strathroy Family Dentist Today!
Maintaining good oral health involves more than just a beautiful smile – it impacts your overall well being. Don’t wait to book your next appointment with your caring Strathroy family dentist!
At Strathroy Family Dental, your smile’s health is our top concern. In order to meet your expectations and requirements, our dentists take the time to listen to you. We provide personalized dental care – from routine cleanings to cosmetic treatments to dental implants.
Our comfortable, modern dental office offers comprehensive services for the whole family. We educate and empower you to make the best decisions for your oral health.
Experience our compassionate approach and dedication to your satisfaction.