How Can Poor Oral Health and Gum Disease Affect the Rest of the Body?

Prevent Gum Disease

Our mouth is the door to our bodies’ health, and how much we care for it is crucial to our general wellbeing. Poor oral health can be the cause -for children and adults- of many illnesses. From our immune system to our brain, nothing is completely safe. So, let’s dive into what we can do to prevent any nutritional deficiencies, inflammation, gum disease, and infections from spreading.

What Conditions Have Links to Oral Health?

Oral and overall health holds connections to each other; in its “Healthy mouth, healthy body” article, the American Dental Association (ADA) is clear to inform us that poor oral health puts a person at risk of many illnesses.

Systemic diseases, for example, can result from mouth lesions, leading to Diabetes, AIDS, and even Sjogren’s syndrome.

The ADA also addresses that particularly periodontitis -also known as advanced gum disease- is also linked to several health problems such as heart diseases, strokes, and many bacterial issues.

What Are Some Severe Dental Problems?

From all the different diseases we mentioned above that derive from poor oral health, a profoundly serious one stands out: gum disease and its consequences.

When left untreated, gum disease might be the cause of other major diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Gum disease starts with bacterial overgrowth and may lead to loss of gum tissue and even destroy teeth and jawbone.

The first stage of gum disease is inflammation and is commonly known as Gingivitis. Fortunately, -when recognized early- we can prevent further inflammation. However, if the patient does not receive proper gum disease treatment, the situation can lead to periodontitis and bigger problems.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

Inflamed gums result from bacteria and plaque build-up. Such a condition usually comes from food caught in the edges of our teeth and lower gums (also known as “sulcus”).

We can determine a patient suffers from these initial stages of gum disease when we hear someone brushes their teeth and the gums look red, irritated, swollen, and start to bleed.

At this point, we will not see severe damage. However, the patient will experience discomfort and some pain but no bone damage yet.

The main problem with gum disease starts when the plaque becomes tartar and makes the gums around your teeth’ base recede. Tooth decay will come as a natural consequence when the soft tissue is exposed, and the infection advances. Discomfort will increase pain, and your teeth will be sensitive to chewing.

Finally, loose teeth, persistent foul smell, and bad breath will also be some common signs.

But even if you do not experience discomfort or pain, be aware of these symptoms as you still might have gingivitis. It’s always good to be incredibly careful with your oral hygiene and let your dentist determine the stage of your condition and the gum disease treatment

What Is Periodontal Disease?

When gum disease is left unchecked, it can develop into Periodontitis. Periodontal disease is a severe gum infection that can damage and destroy your teeth and jawbones.

This dental health disease results from poor oral hygiene; its symptoms include swollen red gums, sometimes even purple, that are very tender to touch and easily bleed when brushing or flossing.

The infection may also lead to pus excretion between your teeth and gums. It is painful and causes foul breath. Loose teeth or loss of teeth are also common as the gums recede and expose the teeth.

The Dangers of Periodontal Disease

Studies have shown that periodontitis holds a relationship with cardiovascular problems, such as heart disease, arterial blockages, and strokes.

It is also related to diabetes, malnutrition, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, obesity, HIV/AIDS, and cancer.

In brief, the bacteria caused by periodontitis might be able to enter your bloodstream through your inflamed gum tissue and affect your entire wellbeing causing major health issues.

Oral Hygiene at Home to Prevent Gum Disease

Prevention is key for good oral health.

Besides scheduling your regular appointments at the dentist and following any gum disease treatment if needed, make sure to adhere to these basic rules:

  • Brush your teeth daily twice a day and after meals. Use fluoride toothpaste preferably.
  • If you feel a regular toothbrush is not helping you do a good job, consider a power brush. Power brushes are great for plaque removal.
  • After brushing, also floss your teeth.
  • Use mouthwash. If it is a fluoride formula, even better.
  • Follow a healthy diet, remember that -in general- sugary foods and drinks are not good for your teeth and health.

How to Prevent These Complications With the Help From an Expert

To make sure things do not escalate, you must control your infection. To do so, follow your dentist’s instructions to the letter. The doctor will give you an assessment of what is affected and what to do.

In its “Preventing Periodontal Disease” article, the ADA advises that the best way to prevent further complications for both gum disease and periodontitis is through oral hygiene and regular dental examinations.

Your dentist will evaluate the color of your gums and their condition, check how much tartar a person is accumulating, look for signs of infection and any other warning signs, and of course, help you with a deep professional cleaning.

Finally, tell your dentist any symptoms you are experiencing; the more information you can provide, the faster and better your dentist will get to the bottom of the issue and determine if you need any gum disease treatment.

Also, remember to mention any medical conditions you have or medication -including supplements or vitamins- you are taking.

Epic Dentistry for Kids focus is prevention. If you are interested in finding more about the best gum disease treatments available for children here in Aurora or schedule an appointment with our dentists.