November 4, 2016
Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems experienced today. In fact, nearly half of U.S. adults currently have gum disease and many are not even aware of it. Gum disease has early symptoms like red and swollen gums, but over time it can develop into much more serious conditions. Dr. Warren G. Hoffman and the team at Parkway Ridge Dental want you to know about the connection between gum disease and diabetes, heart problems, and dementia, as well as what you can do to prevent it.
Patients with diabetes have been shown to have a higher level of gum disease than the general population. One common complication from diabetes involves the thickening of the blood vessels, and this can make it more difficult for them to carry precious nutrients and eliminate harmful waste. This, in turn, can make a patient more susceptible to getting gum disease, creating a harmful cycle.
Scientists have been studying the connection between heart disease and gum disease for decades. They seem to have one main thing in common: inflammation. The same inflammation that can cause hardened arteries can also be observed in swollen gums. This buildup of bacteria along the gum line doesn’t simply stay there. Gums are very vascular, meaning the bacteria can easily get into your bloodstream. This bacteria can then go anywhere in your body and cause inflammation. Should this inflammation occur in the heart, it can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Gum disease has been linked to a higher risk of dementia later in life. Once again, the bacteria on your gums can easily travel to all parts of the body, and this includes your brain. Researchers have even found Porphyromonas gingivalis, gum disease bacteria, in the brains of patients with dementia. The working theory among scientists is that the brain is constantly exposed to bacteria from the gums, and its immune response can lead to nerve cell death and lasting memory loss.
What You Can Do About It
Dr. Hoffman and the team at Parkway Ridge Dental can effectively treat your gum disease before it can lead to these serious conditions. Whenever you come in for a routine check-up, they will always examine your gums .
Consistent brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent gum disease, but Dr. Hoffman is also able to proficiently treat you if you already have the disease. The Parkway Ridge dental team will use a procedure called scaling and root planing. During scaling, Dr. Hoffman’s hygienists will skillfully remove the buildup of plaque and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth above and below the gum line. Root planing is then used to gently smooth the surfaces of your teeth’s roots to prevent the accumulation of bacteria in the future. Dr. Hoffman may also use a topical antibiotic to continue treating your gums for the next several days.
If you have any questions about gum disease’s connection to diabetes, heart problems, or dementia, please give your dentist in Sarasota at Parkway Ridge Dental a call today. Dr. Hoffman and the team hold your health in the highest priority, and are always eager to use their top-quality care and expertise to help you and your loved ones live a long and vigorous life.