Getting regular preventative dental appointments is one of the best lines of defense against gum disease and its adverse effects. All you have to do is schedule a dental appointment, show up and let the professionals handle the rest.
Gum disease impacts around 10 percent of the global population, and this common oral health condition has numerous negative consequences.1 On top of causing unwanted oral health conditions such as bad breath, periodontal pockets, and in more severe cases, missing teeth, gum disease can lead to severe health conditions like heart disease, gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer, and diabetes. To illustrate how important good oral healthcare is, let’s consider the connection between gum disease and heart disease.
The Correlation Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease
Heart disease is a dangerous condition that affects over 18 million adults over 20 and accounts for one in every four deaths each year in the United States.2 Gum disease has been shown to play a role in suffering from cardiovascular diseases. While gum disease doesn’t directly cause heart disease, numerous studies have explored and proven the correlation between gum disease and heart disease.
In fact, researchers have found that gum disease increases one’s risk of developing heart disease by 20 percent. Along with contracting the disease, pre-existing periodontal disease raises the risk for morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular disease anywhere from 20 percent to 180 percent.3 Additionally, those diagnosed with periodontal disease are 20 percent less likely to have a healthy blood pressure range than those with a healthy mouth.4
What Explains The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease?
One of the core findings that explain the link between periodontal disease and heart disease is increased inflammation in the body that starts in the mouth and spreads to other parts of the body. Since gum disease is an infection of the gums and mouth, it increases inflammation in the mouth.
Although this inflammation begins in the mouth, it can lead to increased inflammation in other parts of the body, including the heart’s blood vessels. Furthermore, research has shown that oral bacteria have been found in people with artherosclerosis, a condition in which the arteries narrow due to plaque and fat buildup.5
How To Recognize The Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
In order to stop gum disease from worsening your oral and physical health, you must understand the signs of early-stage gum disease. This is especially important because when caught in its earliest stage of gingivitis, gum disease damages can be reversed with proper treatment. The key signs and symptoms of gum disease to look out for include the following:
- Swollen and red gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Bad breath
- Painful gums after brushing
- Pus between the teeth
- Receding gum line
- Loose or shifting teeth
How To Prevent Gum Disease and Subsequent Heart Disease
By keeping an eye on the gum disease signs and symptoms and seeking treatment with a dentist as soon as you notice them, your risk of acquiring gum and heart disease will decrease significantly. In addition, here are some of the best practices for preventing gum disease from occurring in the first place:
- Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.
- Avoid using tobacco and stay hydrated to prevent dry mouth, which causes bacteria to proliferate.
- Be mindful of sugar and soda intake, which can contribute to bacteria in the mouth.
- Visit your dentist for regular cleanings and inspections to catch early signs of gingivitis.
Schedule Preventative Dental Appointments With Empire Dental Care Today
As we’ve explored, gum disease can cause severe health problems if left untreated. Empire Dental Care offers preventative dental appointments to keep your oral health in top shape. Whether it’s preventative, cosmetic, or general dentistry, our experienced dental team is ready to help you feel confident in your healthy smile. To book your appointment with us. call us at 585.671.1750 today!