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Why it’s essential to treat gum disease


For a lot of people, when they think about dentistry and oral hygiene, they imagine having beautiful, pearly white teeth and a straight, even smile so they can look good and enhance their image. However, a large part of the work that we do is not focused on teeth. Ask most dentists and they will tell you that looking after your gums is one of the most important parts of having good oral hygiene.

So why is protecting your gums so important and what can happen if you fail to keep them in good health? We’ve put together this short blog post to give you the ins and outs of keeping your gums healthy.
First of all, did you know that gum disease can affect your entire body, not just your mouth? Research has suggested it can increase the risk of stroke, diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy issues and even dementia. This is why oral hygiene is so important, as it can affect your entire overall health.
But how does gum disease happen? If you don’t brush your teeth often enough, plaque will start to build up around your teeth and gums. This in turn can cause bacteria. When your body tries to fight off this bacteria, it can sometimes overreact and cause inflammation of the gums. The inflammation can irritate your teeth and gums as well as affect your bloodstream which could damage blood vessels in your heart and brain, which is how other health issues occur.
Often, one of the first forms of gum disease you will experience is gingivitis. Look out for red and swollen gums as a telltale sign of this condition. Another symptom can be if your teeth start bleeding after being brushed. Fortunately, it’s not painful and can be easily fixed with the help of your dentist and a rigorous oral hygiene regime. However, if gingivitis is left for too long it could progress into periodontal disease.
It starts when plaque begins to grow beneath the gum line, which irritates your gums and can provoke an over inflammatory response as mentioned earlier. This can make the bones and tissue that hold up teeth begin to deteriorate. Symptoms at this stage include redness in the gums and loose teeth.
Periodontal disease can become a lot more serious if not dealt with. The inflammation can become more advanced and you may experience tooth loss and abscesses in your gums. Bacteria in your mouth could actually start to kill the healthy tissue so, even if your teeth start to fall out and your mouth is visibly diseased, you may not even feel it.
Unfortunately, periodontal disease can then spread. The bacteria in your mouth can spread through your blood causing issues elsewhere. In fact, plaque that causes tooth decay has been found in the arteries of people with heart disease.
Your body’s reaction to the plaque elsewhere is again through inflammatory responses. This means if you have other illnesses or conditions such as arthritis, respiratory disease, or some forms of cancer, the inflammation can exacerbate them, making them much worse.
Diabetes sufferers may also be at risk. Periodontal disease can actually increase the amount of sugar in your blood, which will obviously cause massive complications for people with diabetes who struggle to naturally regulate their blood sugar normally. Additionally, increased blood sugar can also cause diabetes in people who don’t yet have it.
The multitude of different health problems that periodontal disease can cause throughout your body can actually weaken your immune response as well. This will make you more susceptible to other infections, so it’s really important that you do not let gum disease grow out of control.
If you’re concerned about gum disease and want to find out more about how you can prevent it, or if you’re worried that you currently have some form of gingivitis or periodontal disease, please do get in touch today for a consultation with our expert dentist, to see how we can help you keep your mouth and gums in top health.
To book a consultation or appointment, or call: 0207 486 5180


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