February  07 , 2019

Protect Your Heart With Your Toothbrush - And More!

Chances are you've seen the headlines about numerous studies that have found a relationship between gum disease and heart problems. Well, the problem is far more widespread – affecting almost 75% of Americans and putting them at serious risk of debilitating disease and even death. The good news is that your toothbrush may be your first and easiest line of defense.

Researchers have identified links between poor oral health and stroke, atherosclerosis, diabetes, dementia - including Alzheimer's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, premature births and low birth weights. And, poor oral health makes your teeth fall out!

What's Going On Here?
The condition is called periodontal disease. This disease is identified by infections in the structures that surround the teeth – the gums, the periodontal ligament, and the part of the jaw bone that has the sockets (alveolar bone).

In the earliest stage of periodontal disease – gingivitis – the infection affects the gums. The sticky bacterial plaque that builds up on your teeth, inflames your gums causing them to bleed. Red, swollen, bleeding gums is the warning signal! Gingivitis does more than just threaten your dental health and as more research is published, we're realizing just how dangerous it is.

Most people with gum disease don’t have any idea they’re at risk. So they put off the regular examinations and routine care that could prevent periodontitis.

It’s easy to understand because early and even moderate stage gum disease has virtually no symptoms. It’s not until after the infection has already had a chance to irreversibly damage the underlying bone that people begin to notice things like red, swollen or bleeding gums.

And even then, far too many people think their symptoms are normal. Or believe they’re signs of aging – they’re NOT!

Others think that since they brush and floss daily they can’t possibly have gum disease. But as many as 30% of people have a genetic susceptibility to gum disease that make them far more likely to get it even if they practice excellent oral hygiene.

Protect Yourself!
The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become and the greater the risk for gum disease.

Use your toothbrush! Daily brushing and flossing helps control Ginigivitis – the milder form of gum disease.

The best way to protect yourself from all the problems associated with gum disease is to see us regularly for careful examinations and early treatment. Just give us a call. We’ll be happy to put you on the road to better dental – and overall – health.