The Hidden Health Risk in your Gums
Important information from your Utah dentists.
For such a small part of the body, the mouth requires lots of attention and care. In addition to twice daily flossing and brushing, teeth require regular professional cleaning and inspection. Many people choose to have correction of tooth spacing by an orthodontist. Others require the procedure of a root canal by an endodontist, while others still want to see a periodontist for treatment of gum inflammation. As it turns out, this high-maintenance body part can have an impact on other organs and body functions as well!
Arguably, the most significant of these impacts is the connection between your gums and cardiovascular disease. Most people can rattle off common risk factors of cardiovascular disease—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and so on. However, most people don’t realize that gum disease is one of the most significant risk factors!
Learn more about gingivitis, a common form of non-destructive periodontal disease.
There is a direct correlation between severity of gum disease and likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. What causes this connection? Scientists believe that bacteria found in infected gums can migrate and move throughout the body, including in arteries. Once in the arteries, the bacteria irritate gum tissue, which can initiate buildup of plaque. The buildup of plaque causes hardening of the arteries, or arthrosclerosis. This decreases blood flow, increasing the risk of a heart attack.
What can you do to protect yourself from gum disease and the subsequent increased risk of heart disease? Take good care of your mouth! Brush teeth at least twice daily, gently enough so you’re not irritating your gums. Be sure to floss teeth regularly as well. Watch closely for the signs of gum disease, including red, irritated gums or gums that bleed easily. Schedule regular checkups with your Utah dentist to ensure you have a healthy mouth and healthy teeth.
Gum disease treatment comes in various forms, including laser dentistry. Ask about your options when you consult with your APEX dentist.