When we think of gum disease, most people may consider how this condition will affect oral health. Gum disease, an infection in gum tissue caused by oral bacteria, has the potential to be quite serious. In fact, this progressive infection, in its advanced stage, is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. The impact gum disease has on the smile is significant, but the effects of this condition don’t stop there.
Researchers studying gum disease have come to some very startling discoveries which, when we recognize them, can help us better protect our smiles and our overall health.
Gum disease and coronary disease
Though a complex issue, a link between gum disease and coronary disease has been detected in some research studies. When the gum tissues become infected, the body responds with inflammation. The generalized inflammation triggered by the immune system increase levels of C-reactive protein in the blood. C-reactive proteins are also indicative of coronary disease. Due to the presence of elevated proteins in gum disease patients, it is theorized that one increases the risk of the other.
Gum disease and diabetes
Diabetes and gum disease are linked in two ways. Uncontrolled diabetes makes it more difficult for the body to fight infection, thus increasing the risk of gum disease and also making this condition harder to treat. On the other hand, the development of gum disease puts undue stress on the immune system and can directly impact blood-sugar levels, making it more difficult to manage the diabetic condition. Patients with either condition are encouraged to work with their health care providers for optimal health and wellbeing.
Non-surgical gum therapy for early intervention
In our offices in Pickering, Scarborough, and North York, we work with patients to prevent gum disease by demonstrating and encouraging healthy oral hygiene habits. Gum disease is silent, meaning that the early warning signs are so mild that the problem lurking in gums may be missed. Due to the nature of gum disease, the best way to detect problems is to maintain regular six-month visits with your dentist. When we can catch problems quickly, it is possible to eliminate infection with a dental cleaning and recommended lifestyle changes. As gum disease progresses, treatment will need to be more aggressive to be effective. Scaling and root planing are the next step, addressing infection that has progressed beneath the gums. When gum disease has begun to affect bone tissue, as it will if not treated, surgery may be necessary to restore health.
Don’t let gum disease rob you of your beautiful smile and good health. Contact Esquire Dental Centres to schedule preventive care.