The Mouth-Body Connection
I've Heard About Gum Disease, But How Can It Affect Me?
Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is a serious dental problem that most patients have heard of. However, despite having heard of it, most patients aren’t aware of the symptoms associated with gum disease. Gum disease is a simple inflammation of the gums. If left untreated, the inflammation grows worse and allows for bacteria to damage the soft tissue and bone that support a patient’s teeth. From there, a patient can lose their teeth to gum disease. Here are some of the risk factors that can cause gum disease:
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- Passed down genetically
- Medication side-effects
- Hormonal changes
Gum disease is typically caused by bacteria and other particles that have formed plaque on a patient’s teeth. Flossing and brushing helps patients get rid of plaque. When plaque is not removed, it can form tartar which isn’t cleaned through brushing. Tartar can only be removed by a dental hygienist or a dentist at a professional cleaning.
Patients don’t normally show signs of gum disease until they’re adults. However, in certain circumstances, gum disease can show up in a patient of any age. Men have been shown to more likely have gum disease over women. Gum disease is most likely to crop up in a patient when plaque is allowed to build up under and along the patient’s gum line.
What Are The Symptoms of Gum Disease?
There are numerous symptoms of gum disease. However, gum disease cannot always be detected through visual observations alone. It is crucial that you make an appointment with our office if you think that you may have gum disease so that you can undergo a thorough examination by our trained staff. While at home, if you detect any of the following symptoms, you may have gum disease:
- Gums that are swollen, red, bleeding, or tender.
- Your teeth are loose.
- Your teeth are more sensitive than normal.
- You experience pain while chewing.
- Your teeth appear to be longer or you visibly observe that your gums have begun to recede.
- You consistently have bad breath.
These symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem with gum disease. While at our office, you should inform us of your medical history so that we can identify any risk factors or conditions that you may have that could cause gum disease. While at our office, we can check your gums for any signs of inflammation or deep pockets in your mouth.
So How Does Gum Disease Affect My Whole Health?
Beyond potentially saving your teeth from falling out and your gums from being damaged, there are several reasons to put extra effort in protecting yourself against gum disease. Below are a few examples of the real connection between your oral health and overall body health.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have corony artery disease (heart disease). While it might always be the case, investing in preventive dental work is a short-term plan that could have great long-term oral health dividends.
Diabetes & Blood Sugar Control
Individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections, which may explain why so many affected by diabetes also suffer from periodontal disease. This relationship with gum disease goes both ways, as research shows that those with periodontal disease may find it more difficult to control their blood sugar. Severe gum disease has the chance to increase blood sugar, which puts individuals with diabetes at an increased risk for diabetic complications.
Potential Pregnancy Problems
Unexpected oral health issues could arise in pregnant women due to the hormones released during pregnancy. The increase in progestereone and estrogen can greatly affect the way gum tissues react to plaque. This makes it even more vital for expecting mothers to maintain good oral hygiene throughout their pregnancy. If you are expecting, or have plans to in the near future, it's important to schedule an appointment with your dentist to map out a dental plan for the rest of your pregnancy.
Get an Appointment Today!
If you suspect that you have gum disease or you are displaying symptoms of gum disease, it is crucial that you seek out treatment immediately. Gum disease symptoms can be reversed if detected and treated soon enough. If you have any questions regarding gum disease for the Arizona Periodontal Group, please contact us now. If you would like to make an appointment with us, you may do so online or by phone.
Start your day with a beautiful smile.
When you visit our office, your oral health is our top priority. Dr. Trujillo and his entire team is dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve.