January 21, 2016
If you’ve been told that you have gum disease, then you’re in good company. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly half of American adults have some degree of gum, or periodontal, disease. That you’re among millions, however, should come as little comfort when you consider the consequences this bacterial infection can have on not only your oral health but your overall health, as well. Fortunately, Carrollton family dentist Dr. Henry A. Campbell and his staff offer gum disease therapy, so you can enjoy optimal oral health and avoid some rather serious general maladies, too.
First, let’s look at what happens in your mouth every day that can lead to periodontal disease. Normal oral bacteria are a necessity. Problems can begin, however, when those bacteria get trapped in plaque, that sticky, colorless film that develops daily. Without regular brushing and flossing to rid your mouth of plaque, the bacteria there can flourish and release acids that can not only cause tooth decay, but gum disease as well.
Gum disease begins as gingivitis with its red, swollen and bleeding gums. If not treated, gingivitis can progress to become periodontitis, the more advanced and serious stage of periodontal disease. At this point, pockets develop between your teeth and gums, giving bacteria access to gum tissue and even bone structure that supports your teeth. No wonder then that gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.
Gum Disease and Your Overall Health
If the bacteria that cause gum disease stayed just in your mouth, then that would be bad enough. However, through your respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems, these troublesome bacteria and their toxins can migrate throughout the body. While a direct cause and effect is not certain, the oral-systemic connection is. For example, studies show that people who have periodontal disease are more likely to have cardiovascular disease, making them more susceptible to heart attacks. In addition, patients with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease than those who do not have diabetes. This might be because diabetics are more susceptible to infections. Moreover, having gum disease may make controlling blood sugar levels more difficult for people with diabetes.
Other conditions that are associated with gum disease include osteoporosis; pneumonia and other respiratory diseases; kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers; depression; dementia; and pregnancy complications such as pre-term deliveries and low birth weight newborns.
Call Our Office Today
To avoid gum disease, one of the best things you can do—in addition to brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day—is to schedule regular dental checkups with Carrollton general dentist Dr. Henry Campbell. We conveniently serve patients from Farmers Branch, Dallas, Grapevine, Lewisville, Richardson and Plano.
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