If you regularly visit Margolian Dentistry, then you will know we encourage our patients to take a preventative approach to their dental care in Oshawa. It’s a strategy that is cost-effective and which saves you time in the longer term, and perhaps most importantly it helps to protect your general health. One common dental disease that can negatively impact your general health is gum disease.
Unfortunately, gum disease is incredibly common, and according to the Canadian Dental Association, 7 out of 10 Canadians will develop some form of gum disease at some point during their lifetime. What’s worse is that gum disease can progress quite silently and painlessly until it is well advanced, by which stage it may have caused irreparable damage to your gums and other structures around your teeth, and it could have begun to affect your general health.
What Is Gum Disease and How Does It Begin?
Gum disease is caused by plaque bacteria present in everyone’s mouth. Each day a sticky plaque biofilm adheres to the surfaces of your teeth. If not removed through regular brushing and flossing, plaque soon hardens into tartar (calculus). The bacteria in tartar will infect your gums, initially causing an early form of gum disease called gingivitis. One of the problems with gingivitis is that although your gums may look a little red, you might not notice any other changes. As the infection worsens, your gums may look increasingly puffy as they become inflamed because your body is trying to fight the bacteria. You could notice a little blood on your toothbrush or in the bathroom sink. At this stage gum disease isn’t generally painful and it’s also reversible.
Gingivitis can usually be treated by having your teeth professionally cleaned combined with an improved oral hygiene routine at home. This will make sure you thoroughly remove that sticky plaque biofilm each day so that gradually your gums can fight the infection, becoming stronger and healthier. By persisting with your brushing and flossing routine, you should notice your gums no longer bleed and look a healthy pink colour in just a few weeks. It’s a very different story if you ignore or fail to notice these first signs, or don’t see a dentist in Whitby for regular exams and cleanings.
What Happens When Gingivitis Worsens?
When gingivitis worsens, then it develops into a condition called periodontitis and the inflammation in your gums increases, gradually destroying your gums, so they begin to recede. This can create pockets or spaces in between your gums and teeth and which harbour even more bacteria because they can be tricky to clean with a toothbrush. Eventually, the inflammation and infection can destroy the bone surrounding your teeth, and you could lose some teeth. Periodontitis could also affect your general health.
Oral Systemic Health
Oral systemic health is the connection between your general health and your oral health. Many studies have connected poor oral hygiene and especially periodontitis with systemic diseases that include diabetes, stroke, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and even dementia. This is because the bacteria that cause inflammation in your mouth can spread to other parts of your body through your bleeding gums. It can increase your risk of developing systemic diseases or may worsen any that already exist.
The good news is that our dentist in Ajax can provide you with excellent preventative dental care. Any signs of gum disease can quickly be detected and treated at your regular checkups. Often a simple routine of regular checkups and cleans combined with a good daily oral hygiene routine is all that’s needed to keep your gums in the pink of health while protecting your general health.
If you are concerned about your gum health or have noticed blood when you brush or floss, then please get in touch with Margolian Dentistry.