Gum Disease- The Reason You Need a Good Oral Health Routine
Gum disease is a silent infection. You might not realise you have it until it’s quite advanced. The disease usual progresses in three stages:
Stage 1: Gingivitis
This is mild gum disease where the gums become inflamed by plaque and tartar build-up. Plaque is that sticky film you can feel on your teeth. Tartar is hardened plaque which can only be removed by a dentist or with an effective tooth cleaner.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
If gingivitis isn’t treated, things get more serious. This disease can cause a more serious infection which spreads to the bone tissue.
Stage 3: Aggressive Periodontitis
At this stage, the gum tissue can detach from your teeth which can lead to tooth loss. Pretty scary, right?
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
If you have any of these symptoms, see a dentist as soon as possible:
Swollen, red gums
Gums that bleed when you brush, floss, or eat hard foods
Spaces appearing between the teeth and gums
Pus between the teeth and gums
Mouth sores and mouth pain
The Other Scary Health Effects of Gum Disease
Think you don’t need a tooth cleaner? While symptoms of gum disease in your mouth are uncomfortable enough, problems with the gums cause other serious health problems too including:
Heart disease- Inflammation in the gums can lead to bacteria getting into your bloodstream. If this goes to your heart, plaque can form on the arteries, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Respiratory infections- Bacteria from infected gums can cause infections in the lungs.
Worsening diabetes- According to the American Dental Association (ADA), gum disease can worsen diabetes. High blood sugar increases the risk of gum disease and gum disease makes it harder to control blood sugar levels.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease- A study carried out by the National Institute on Aging found a link between gum disease and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
What Can I Do to Keep My Mouth Healthy?
The best way to keep your mouth (and body) healthy is to establish a good oral health routine.
Take care of your teeth at home by:
- Brushing your teeth twice each day, flossing daily, and using an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Using a tooth cleaner regularly to remove gum disease causing plaque and tartar.
- Getting regular dental health check-ups at the dentist. They will spot and treat any problems early on.