Orally-related infection commands the top position in the world when ranked by the total count of people who have periodontal disease. In other words, on planet Earth, there are more cases of gum disease than the roster of people who have the widespread cold and sniffles. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, research studies produced in America reveal that half of Americans have gingivitis and almost a third have periodontitis (gum disease).
The mouth is filled with countless bacteria. Periodontal disease is caused by a certain type of bacteria in the sticky colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth and the surfaces lining the mouth. This film is called plaque. It will produce toxins and enzymes that irritate the gums and cause inflammation. The resulting inflammation, which may be painless, can damage the attachment of the gums and bone to the teeth. If allowed to progress, periodontal disease may lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss. Tooth loss is not the only potential problem caused by these bacteria. Resent research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other health concerns such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, and increase risk during pregnancy.
As gum disease continues unchecked, bacterial waste products break down your gum tissue. Soon, your gum tissues are breached and bacteria are free to enter your body’s circulatory system. These circulating bacteria generate inflammation in the body’s vital organs. For compromised family members, this added burden could possibly be the ultimate factor that downgrades their overall health.
The Red Flags of Gum Disease
- Bleeding gums after brushing your teeth
- Blood on your floss after flossing
- Aching, shiny red, or puffy gum tissue
- Wobbly and/or loose teeth
- Tooth roots becoming exposed
- Never-ending bad breath (halitosis)
- Pus or white film between the teeth
- Pain when you chew or bite on something
- Noticeable changes in your bite
- New spaces between your teeth
- Food getting lodged in your gums
What Does This Mean For The Dental Patient?
Harbor North Dental explains, “In the past, dental teams focused on saving your teeth through regular dental care. Now, we have to broaden our focus of care. If you have an inflammatory condition like periodontal disease, you’re in danger of developing more severe systemic problems, whether it’s rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or heart problems. Going forward, as we care for your teeth, not only do we save your teeth, which in itself is a very good commitment, we could be protecting your life as well.”
We at Harbor North Dental believe: “It is not enough anymore to just pay attention to trouble spots in the gum tissue. Instead, eradicating gum disease will become a top priority for maintaining and improving our patients’ total body wellness and their zest for life. To be precise, my patients will not be totally healthy unless they’re periodontally healthy.”