Did you know that gum disease impacts your health?
Yes, it’s true if you want to take good care of your health you need to take care of your teeth and gums as well.
We have a saying here at Evolve Holistic Dentist and that is ‘healthy smile, healthy life’ and that is because if your gums aren’t healthy then you aren’t healthy.
When people think about improving their health, things like getting more exercise, eating more vegetables and getting more sleep often come to mind.
Taking better care of your gums and teeth probably doesn’t make the list, but it should.
Research as well as dental and medical professionals agree that gum health is important not just for your mouth, but for your whole body.
But why is that? How does gum disease impact your health?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a progressive disorder of the mouth and gums that develops over time in stages if not diagnosed and treated correctly.
That treatment involves a partnership between you as the patient and us as your holistic dental team as well as ongoing home care and oral hygiene on your part.
The first and earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.
It is very common and most people will have it at some point in their life.
Gingivitis is characterised by symptoms such as gum soreness, bleeding with brushing, mild pain and redness and swelling,.
Gingivitis can usually be reversed with treatment.
But if untreated, symptoms will worsen and progress to a more severe form of the disease called periodontitis.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that can’t be reversed – the damage to the bone and gum tissue is permanent.
Its progression, however, can be stopped with professional care.
Signs and symptoms of periodontitis, include:
The common denominator for both gingivitis and periodontitis is the onset of inflammation in the gums. Unchecked, inflammation breaks down the gums and can lead to the destruction of the jaw bone, ultimately resulting in tooth loss.
But this inflammation is not localised to your gums because when inflammation exists anywhere in the body, it puts the immune system on high alert.
It reacts by activating infection-fighting cells (white blood cells) that tell the rest of the body that something is wrong.
These cells circulate through the bloodstream to every part of the body.
The strong immune response that occurs due to inflammation in the gums (or anywhere in the body) has far-reaching implications, increasing the risk for many health conditions.
Added to the inflammation is the factor of mouth bacteria also gaining entry to the bloodstream and travelling to and infecting other parts of the body.
Gum disease is also linked to Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, erectile dysfunction, cancers, pre-term birth, infertility and rheumatoid arthritis.
The main factor in gum disease is poor brushing and flossing habits, and diet/nutrition also play a role.
After we eat bacteria in our mouth feed on the sugars in the food and form a sticky layer (plaque) on the teeth. When the teeth are not properly cleaned, plaque builds up, hardens and causes gum inflammation.
Brushing and flossing at home is not usually enough to remove all plaque from the gum line – that is why dentists recommend that everyone have a professional cleaning at least every six months if not more frequently.
Additional factors that increase your risk for gum disease include:
Although professional dental care can usually halt its progression, severe gum disease cannot be reversed. Therefore, it’s better to prevent the problem in the first place.
My advice is a holistic dentist is:
To reduce the impacts of gum disease on your health regular dental care is a must.
But hand in hand with good gum health goes overall health and a holistic dentist can support you to address underlying issues and lifestyle factors that increase your risk for gum disease.
We can also recommend ways to support your gum health beyond brushing and flossing so that once and for all we get your gum issues under control
To support your gum health and to live a healthy life call us today 07 3720 1811.