Gum Disease and Your Overall Health
Take a good look around you at your friends. There is a good chance that if there are more than two people in your group right now, at least one of them as some degree of gum disease. Gum disease is extremely prevalent, affecting one in two adult Americans. However, many people mistakenly believe that just because gum disease is common, it is harmless.
That is a highly dangerous way of thinking and could not be further from the truth. The reality is that gum disease can be quite dangerous and even lethal if left untreated. We here at Harmony Dental strongly advocate that our patients take measures to prevent gum disease from avoiding risk to their life and wellbeing.
Why You Need to Worry about Gum Disease
Gum disease is frequently caused by poor oral hygiene and preventing gum disease can be as easy as simply taking good care of your teeth. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule of thumb, but for most of our patients, you can ward off these dangerous complications by making sure you maintain your oral health.
To take care of your teeth, you need first to make sure you are brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. After you brush your teeth, you need to floss. Start with a clean piece of dental floss, one that is at least 18 inches long. Make sure you use a clean piece of floss per tooth to avoid spreading bacteria around and do not forget to get up between your teeth and up under your gumline.
The Risks Involved
Early-stage gum disease, known as gingivitis, is low-risk to you. You can even cure it once you start practicing good oral hygiene. Once it progresses to periodontal disease, though, you are putting your health and your life in danger. Problems that are associated with gum disease include the risk of heart disease and heart attack, cancer, and death. Researchers believe this correlation is caused because gum disease can lead to systemic infection and can raise your overall inflammation levels in your body. Not only are you at an elevated risk of heart disease and heart attack, but you may be more likely to have a stroke.
Lung cancer is also associated with chronic gum disease. Researchers believe it is because you breathe in the dangerous bacteria from your mouth into your lungs. When lung tumors have been biopsied, cancer researchers found the same bacteria found in a mouth with gum disease inside the tumor. Men who have periodontal disease have around a 50 percent increased risk of both kidney and pancreatic cancer and also were at higher risk of developing blood cancer, too.
If you do not take good care of your teeth, you could be on a path to premature death. It sounds scary because it is! In addition to having good oral hygiene, you need to see us every six months for a dental cleaning and checkup. To learn more about the dangers of gum disease, or to set up an appointment at our office here at Harmony Dental, please give us a call today at (541) 246-3250!