Often taken for granted, the monotonous task of brushing and flossing our teeth daily has never been more important in order to avoid gum disease and the risks gum disease place on our overall health. It has been estimated that 75% of Indians have some form of gum disease, which has been linked to serious health complications and causes various dental problems that are often avoidable.
What is Gum Disease?
- Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is mainly caused by bacteria from plaque and tartar build up. Other factors that have the potential to cause gum disease may include:
- Tobacco use
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- Certain medications
Types of Gum Disease Include:
Gingivitis – The beginning stage of gum disease and is often undetected. This stage of the disease is reversible
Periodontics – Untreated gingivitis may lead to this next stage of gum disease. With many levels of periodontics, the common outcome is chronic inflammatory response, a condition when the body breaks down the bone and tissue in the infected area of the mouth, ultimately resulting in tooth and bone loss.
Signs of Gum Disease Include:
- Red, bleeding, and/or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Mobility of the teeth
- Tooth sensitivity caused by receding gums
- Abscessed teeth
- Tooth loss
Recent studies suggest gum disease may contribute to or be warning signs of potentially life threatening conditions such as:
- Heart Disease and Stroke – Studies suggest gingivitis may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke because of the high levels of bacteria found in infected areas of the mouth. As the level of periodontal disease increases, the risk of cardiovascular disease may increase with it. Other studies have suggested that the inflammation in the gums may create a chronic inflammation response in other parts of the body which has also been implicated in increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Diabetes? – People with diabetes often have some form of gum disease, likely caused by high blood glucose, according to the CDC. People with diabetes need to take extra care to ensure proper brushing and flossing techniques are used to prevent the advancement of the gum disease. Regular check-ups and cleanings with your dental hygienist should be followed.