Everything You Need to Know About Gum Disease
Did you know half of Americans have gum disease?
Gum disease happens when bacteria gets trapped below the gum line and damages the soft tissue. In its most advanced stages the bacteria cause bone and tooth loss. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, Advanced Dentistry by Design would love to examine your gums and let you know how things are going!
Some risk factors for gum disease are within your control, and some are not. It’s important to control what you can to keep your gums as healthy as possible.
|Modifiable Risk Factors||Unmodifiable Risk Factors||Either/Both|
|Hygiene habits||Age||Medication use|
|Smoking, vaping or chewing tobacco||Genetics||Obesity|
|Drug and alcohol use||Hormonal changes|
|Cancer, cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS|
|Diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease|
When to Come See Us
If you have any of the risk factors and notice one or more symptoms listed below, schedule an appointment with Advanced Dentistry by Design.
- Bleeding gums
- Sore gums
- Receding gums
- Gaps between your gums and teeth
- Bad breath
- Loose permanent teeth
- Pain when you chew food
- Red or purple gums
- Swollen gums
- A change in the way your bite fits together
If you notice any of these risk factors, it’s a good idea to come in and see us for a full exam. If we detect early stages of gum disease, we can provide treatment options.
How Does Gum Disease Affect the Rest of the Body?
They have linked gum disease to issues like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Sometimes, periodontal disease increases the risk of a systemic issue. In other cases systemic issues increase the risk of gum disease. And other times the combination increases the risk of mortality. Here are a few facts about the gum disease/systemic disease link.
- Periodontal disease increases the risk of cardiovascular and heart disease.
- There is a strong association between gum disease and stroke.
- Periodontal disease exacerbates insulin resistance and patients with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of mortality.
- They can link gum disease to problems in pregnancy including
- Premature birth
- Infection during pregnancy and birth
- Low birth weight
- They have linked gum disease to COPD and rheumatoid arthritis.
- People with Chronic Kidney Disease and gum disease increases risk of mortality.
- If a patient has bone loss because of gum disease they are at higher risk for tongue cancer.
- There is evidence that periodontal disease may impact cognitive function in the elderly.
The Oral Hygiene Connection
In almost every study listed above, the recommendations of the researchers was to practice good oral hygiene. It is one of our best defenses against gum disease and cavities. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, for two minutes. They also recommend flossing once.
We Can Help Treat and Manage Gum Disease
We have the skills and know-how to help manage early to advanced stage gum disease. The earlier we intervene the better the treatment outcomes. Call us if you have questions or come on in for a professional exam. Live happy and healthy by caring for your gum health.