The mouth is part of the body and is connected to it by a vast network of nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic tissue. And hence it should come as no surprise that the same blood that flows through your teeth and gums flows throughout your body.
Recently more and more research is proving the link between the health of the mouth with the health of the body.
Infection in your teeth and gums spreads via your bloodstream to your body where the bacteria from the mouth infection cause or increase inflammation in the body and infect other regions of it.
Gum disease has been linked to:
However, most people think it is normal as it happens so frequently. It is a common everyday occurrence for their gums to bleed.
But just because it is common, it doesn’t mean its normal.
If your hands dripped blood from under the fingernails when you washed them you would certainly be panicking.
Bleeding when you brush your teeth or floss is your body telling you that you have a problem.
Bleeding gums is a symptom of gum disease.
Over 80% of the population suffers from gum disease but most are unaware of it. In its early stages, it is a painless condition.
Bleeding gums are a sign that you have a dental infection called gingivitis. Gingivitis if not treated will worsen to periodontal disease which destroys the tissues and bone that hold your teeth in.
Literally, your gums start to peel off your teeth and your teeth become loose. The gap between the gum and the tooth widens and deepens, allowing even more aggressive and potent bacteria to breed and enter your bloodstream.
If you have any of the following you most likely have gum disease and should visit your dentist for treatment:
Inflammation and bacterial infections in the mouth increase inflammation and systemic disease in the body.
This is because oral infection spreads to the rest of the body.
It is not contained or isolated to the mouth.
What’s also interesting is that if you have systemic issues like chronic inflammation, toxins, acidity and free radicals in the body or elevated or uncontrolled blood sugars you are more prone to gum disease and so the cycle worsens.
Gum disease creates more inflammation which leads to illness and disease in the body which creates more inflammation.
More inflammation in the body then accelerates and worsens gum disease. And around and around the cycle goes.
This process ultimately is like the chicken and the egg equation regarding which came first.
Do we start with gum disease and then get illness or complications in the body or is gum disease yet another symptom of chronic inflammation and systemic illness?
I think that this will always be a very difficult question to answer or prove. Personally, I believe gum disease and dental decay are signs of imbalances in the body and are therefore a symptom of a systemic disease.
The spread of bacteria and inflammation from the mouth is not limited to gum disease, it also occurs in the case of untreated dental decay, chronically inflamed and infected areas around your wisdom teeth, dental abscesses, dead teeth, infected root canal treated teeth, and unhealed or partially healed areas in your bone following tooth extractions.
The problem with these dental conditions is in most cases you don’t realise you have them and this is why it is so important to have regular dental care, including check-ups, screening X-rays and professional dental cleaning to both assess and tend to your dental needs and treat these conditions.
People with poor oral health tend to have more chronic ill health conditions and poor lifestyle habits.
It has been well documented that people with excellent gum health live healthier, longer lives out-living those with gum disease by 7 to 11 years.
So the next time you think about skipping or skimping on cleaning your teeth or that flossing is just too hard, stop and consider the impact that it is having not only on your risks for dental decay and gum disease but your overall health as well.
Have an issue with bleeding gums, swollen gums, bad breath or not had a dental clean in 6 months or more – then contact us for a professional dental cleaning to remove bacteria and treat inflammation in your mouth as a healthy mouth equals a healthier longer life.
Call Evolve Dental Healing Kenmore dentist now 07 3720 1811 and we will help you to have a healthy, great looking smile you can be proud of for life.