September 14, 2019
September is National Gum Care Month, and that means there’s no better time to talk about the importance of good gum health. Your teeth aren’t the only parts of your mouth that need to stay clean. The soft tissues surrounding them and keeping them held in place deserve quality care, too. Whether you’ve experienced periodontal disease (gum disease) in the past or are doubtful of just how serious it can be for your mouth and body, allow us to share some of the ways gum disease in North Sarasota can be harmful to your overall health.
How Gum Disease Can Harm Your Overall Health
Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, appears in stages that range from mild to severe. When you first begin to notice your gums are red and puffy, this typically means you are experiencing gingivitis, which can be easily reversed with proper at-home oral hygiene practices and a thorough cleaning by your dental team.
The next stage is periodontitis, which results in swollen gums that bleed while brushing or flossing. It also means you are more susceptible to harmful bacteria and food particles becoming trapped in what is known as gum pockets that are likely developing.
The final stage is advanced periodontitis, which is completely irreversible. At this point, teeth become loose and bone begins to weaken, often resulting in tooth loss.
Apart from the negative effects gum disease can have on your oral health, you’ll begin to notice other health-related problems developing throughout your body, some of which include:
- Heart attack
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Respiratory disease
The reason gum disease can be linked to all these other health problems is due to inflammation and infection. When it enters the bloodstream, it can travel to different areas of the body. Each person is different, so having gum disease may or may not affect you the same way as someone else.
Ways to Protect Your Gums and Keep Them Healthy
In an effort to protect your gums from disease and keep them healthy, there are steps you can take, including:
- Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste
- Replacing your toothbrush every few months, as old brushes can hold bacteria
- Flossing your teeth at least once a day
- Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash
- Maintaining regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist
- Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet, as well as limiting the amount of sugary foods consumed, as this can breed bacteria and lead to tooth decay and gum disease
If your dentist believes periodontal therapy in North Sarasota is in your best interest, you’ll need to see them more frequently than the average six-month visit. In combination with good oral hygiene practiced at home, performing a deep cleaning or “scaling and root planing” to restore your gums is the only way you can regain your oral health and move forward with a healthy smile.
About the Author
Dr. Warren Hoffman, DDS, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from SUNY Binghamton before going on to attend dental school in Baltimore, Maryland. Receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, he completed an externship during his senior year, providing dental services to stationed members of the United States Coast Guard in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Hoffman and his team at Parkway Ridge Dental want to help you when problems arise and that means combatting gum disease before it worsens and negatively impacts your overall health. To take back your gum health and regain control, contact us at (941) 358-8830.