Many people are not aware that dental hygiene can have a direct effect on your physical health. In fact, gingivitis, periodontal disease, heart disease, gum disease and overall dental health are all very closely related. In this article we will discuss each of these briefly to give you an overview of why it is of the utmost importance for you to maintain your dental health and get regular check-ups at your dentist.
Dental health is a habit that is not difficult to maintain. It simply means making sure that you floss daily and brush after each meal. If you are not in a position to brush your teeth after each meal, then make sure that you brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening before you go to bed. Keeping good dental hygiene first starts with knowledge and then should become a habit so you can avoid the ill effects that gingivitis and periodontal disease can have on your overall health. Talk with your dentist about which toothbrush grade is best for your teeth and ask your dentist if he/she foresees any problems with your gums or teeth see you can be proactive and take action now to prevent gingivitis. In fact, there is a direct correlation between poor dental hygiene, gingivitis and heart disease.
Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease
If you have had plaque on your teeth for any length of time or if you have not had a teeth cleaning recently, you may be prone to getting gingivitis which is a form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease causes both infection and inflammation that targets the tissue that supports your teeth. This includes your gums, periodontal ligaments, and even the tooth sockets. In fact, plaque is the major cause of decaying teeth. When it is not removed in a timely manner, it turns into a hardened deposit that settles at the base of each tooth. Once there, it will begin to irritate and even inflame your gums. Toxins that are produced from plaque result in infected gums that are both swollen and tender to the touch.
Who is at Risk?
Gingivitis and periodontal disease can develop from simply having a recurrence of colds and the flu. Other risk factors include uncontrolled diabetes, mainly diabetes type II. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy will also increase sensitivity to the gums which puts a woman at risk for developing gingivitis and periodontal disease during pregnancy. Also, those who have dentures, crowns, and braces are at risk for developing gingivitis because they can irritate the gums which cause an increased risk for gingivitis. Birth control pills and even some medications also increase an individual’s risk as well for gum disease. Finally, it is also common for gum disease to develop during puberty and even at the onset of adulthood because of the frequent change in hormonal levels.
What Are The Symptoms of Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease?
Many people have a varying degree a gingivitis. Those who have full-fledged gingivitis and periodontal disease will have bleeding gums even with a gentle brushing of teeth. The appearance of the gums during gum disease will be a reddish purple and even a bright red tint. Often times, the gums will begin to have a shiny appearance to them indicating that toxins and bacteria are widely present. It is also very common for those who have gingivitis and periodontal disease to have very tender gums when touched, however most experience almost zero pain otherwise. If you are experiencing these symptoms, a quick visit to the dentist will let you know if you are at risk of or if you have periodontal disease.
Gingivitis, Heart Disease And Your Overall Health.
Since 2004 scientists have made a clear correlation between gingivitis and heart disease. In fact, a study performed in 2004 showed that over 90% of individual’s who suffered from cardiovascular disease also had mild to severe gingivitis. In fact, if you have gingivitis or gum disease, you now have a 25% greater risk to develop some form of heart disease. But what causes this correlation between periodontal disease and heart disease?
Recent studies have shown that the inflammatory characteristics of gingivitis also release chemicals directly into the bloodstream that are pro-inflammatory. This, in turn, will also cause a inflammatory response in the body that is systemic. Many scientists have now come to the conclusion that atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease, may be triggered by poor dental hygiene which results in periodontal disease. Recently, the American Academy of Periodontology has voiced its concern about the correlation between dental hygiene and heart disease. In fact, the specific bacteria that occurs in gingivitis and gum disease is also now thought to cause blood clots which directly lead to a heart attack or a stroke.
Given these facts and the direct correlation between poor dental hygiene and periodontal disease, it is very important to make sure that you brush at least twice per day and make regular visits to your visits for a professional cleaning in order to remove the plaque from your teeth. If you have a diet that is high in sugar, it is important to brush your teeth even more frequently or cut down the refined sugars that you eat on a daily basis. Overall health starts in the mouth, and so it is very important to keep a close watch on your gums and look for any of the symptoms that have been listed in this article so you to what not have to suffer the consequences of having overall poor health due to poor dental hygiene. There is no reason to put your health at risk when daily brushing, flossing and frequent visits to dentist can help prevent the ill effects of having gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Are There Treatments For Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease?
Yes. First, your dentist will make recommendations for you to brush more frequently and to have your teeth professionally cleaned more frequently. In fact, if you are diagnosed as having gingivitis or a form of periodontal disease they will recommend that you get your teeth professionally cleaned at least once every three or four months in order to prevent plaque from building up on your teeth again.