June 20, 2019
Gum disease affects nearly half of American adults over the age of 30 according to the CDC. If untreated, this condition can pose a serious threat to your oral health – but unfortunately, that’s not the only problem. More and more studies are finding a correlation between infected gums and cardiovascular disease as well as other potentially devastating health issues. Here are the facts about gum disease in Chaska and its link to other conditions.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The bacteria in your mouth is constantly forming a layer of plaque on your teeth. Sugary or starchy foods and drinks cause the bacteria to release acids that wear away at the enamel. Because the plaque is so sticky, the acids stay on the tooth, eventually leading to decay.
This same plaque buildup can also cause your gums to become infected; this is what’s known as gum disease. The earliest stage is gingivitis, which causes tenderness, swelling, and occasional bleeding. Eventually, the disease advances to periodontitis, at which point the gum tissue will pull away from the teeth, allowing the bacteria to attack the bones and eventually causing tooth loss.
How Do Infected Gums Affect My Overall Health?
Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of several serious health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. These connections are often attributed to the bacteria and inflammation that an oral infection usually involves.
For example, many researchers believe that bacteria in the gums enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation in the vessels, leading to blood clots, heart attacks and stroke. Similarly, signs of oral bacteria have been found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. There’s also findings that suggest periodontitis can affect blood sugar control, which means it could exacerbate the effects of diabetes.
It should be noted that many of the risk factors for gum disease – poor eating habits, smoking, lack of overall attention to health – are also linked to these health issues.
What Should I Do if I Have Gum Disease?
If you or your dentist find the signs of an infection in the gums, you may need periodontal therapy in Chaska. The necessary treatment will depend on the severity of the disease. In some cases, a deep cleaning process known as scaling and root planing may be necessary to remove plaque, bacteria and other contaminants from below the gum line before smoothing the roots of the tooth to make reinfection less likely.
Keep an eye out for the swelling and bleeding associated with gingivitis; gum disease is easier to treat in the earliest stages, so you’ll want to make an appointment as soon as possible. Who knows? It just might help save your life!
About the Author
Dr. Mark M. Stapleton is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry and has been named one of the top 40 dentists in the country under the age of 40 by Incisal Edge Magazine. He maintains that highest standard of excellent possible in all forms of treatment, including periodontal therapy for gum disease. To schedule an appointment at his practice, White Oak Dental, visit his website or call (952) 448-2868.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.