After hitting your alarm about three times, you finally roll out of bed and stumble half-awake into the bathroom. As you stand in the mirror brushing your teeth, you notice that your gums are bleeding. You wonder, “Is this something I should be alarmed about?” Your dentist in Joplin says don’t panic, but you should definitely immediately schedule a visit with your preventive dentistry expert to be examined. This is because you may be suffering from gum disease and if not addressed, it could mushroom into greater problems – like heart trouble. Learn more about the connection between the two as you continue reading.
Where Does Gum Disease Come From?
You may be wondering what gum disease is and where it comes from. It all starts with bacteria. These little microscopic bodies have been present in your mouth since your first teeth erupted, and you began eating solid food.
Every time you consume, they come creeping from their shadowy crevasses and seek to feed on any leftover food particles. Thus, if your oral hygiene is not up to par, they linger and cling to your teeth and gums, forming a sticky substance called plaque. As more plaque develops, emitting acids, your gums get swollen, irritated and easily bleed. Eventually, if not treated, a severe infection develops.
The Results of Gum Infection
Whenever there is infection in the body, the result is inflammation, which causes a series of harmful events to unfold. As pertaining to your gums and heart, infected blood from your mouth flows downstream to your cardiovascular system. The inflamed blood can then lead to the development of arterial plaque. And whenever there is plaque in the arteries, the flow of oxygen is inhibited. The results can be disastrous, possibly causing heart attack or stroke.
How Can this be Prevented?
To prevent heart problems, let’s start with the simplest measure of correction – eliminating bacteria. That’s best done through practicing excellent oral hygiene, which involves brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day.
While some people may think that brushing is enough by itself, the reality is that it can only address 60 percent of your teeth. To get to the remaining 40 percent, you’ll need the flexible nature of floss to maneuver into hard-to-reach places.
The other great way to prevent gum disease from developing into a monster is by maintaining regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and checkups. This will ensure that any dangerous plaque and tartar build-up will be removed and that you receive a thorough examination. The latter will allow your dentist to catch any developing problems, so they can be corrected before they explode into something worse.
To schedule your initial visit, just reach out to your oral professional today!
About the Author
Dr. Dan K. Young graduated from the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine and has gone on to participate in several continuing education programs. His post-graduate training has covered such areas as full mouth reconstruction, cosmetic dentistry, and utilization of “cutting edge” dental technology. Dr. Young practices at Young Family and Cosmetic Dentistry and can be reached for more information through his website.