Can Gingivitis Affect Your Overall Wellness?

Gum Disease Gilbert, AZ

Almost everyone knows that caring for their teeth and gums can help prevent oral health issues such as tooth decay and gingivitis. The issue is many people end up neglecting their gum health, not knowing that it actually affects their general wellbeing. This article covers the link between gum disease and physical health.

Understanding gum disease

The gums are one of the soft tissues of the oral cavity that covers the jawbone and the teeth. The gum tissues attach firmly to the teeth to protect the bones and serve as a barrier against bacterial invasion. Regular brushing and flossing help remove food deposits around the teeth and gums, preventing plaque accumulation on their surfaces.

When patients slack on oral hygiene practices, bacterial plaque can accumulate and produce toxins that cause gum inflammation and irritation, which often signifies the outset of gum disease, called gingivitis. Without treatment, gingivitis will slowly worsen into periodontitis, a gum infection that can damage the tissues and bones supporting the teeth.

The relationship between gum health and overall wellness

Millions of people in the United States have gum disease, but due to the silent nature of the condition, it can go undetected until the damages become apparent. Multiple studies have shown that people with gum disease can be at a higher risk of health problems such as:

Cardiovascular condition – this condition is deadly and contributes to over 2,000 deaths per day. The accumulation of the fatty proteins causes the coronary artery walls to thicken. If oral bacteria from gingivitis find their way into the bloodstream, they bind with the fatty plaque and cause clot formation, which may lead to disruption of regular blood flow to the heart and other vital organs. Stroke and a heart attack are two major cardiovascular issues that should not be overlooked.

Respiratory infections – new studies have discovered that people with gum disease may be at a higher risk of respiratory infections such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)  or acute bronchitis. Infection can occur when bacteria from the oral cavity get into the lower respiratory tract.

Diabetes – many people often learn of their diabetes when they have gum disease. Diabetes affects the gums’ appearance. There are unique signs on the gums that are often discovered first by the dental professional. Upon further investigations, they might realize they have diabetes. Research shows that patients with gum disease are at increased risk of having diabetes and vice versa. The two conditions are interrelated. Poor diabetes management will worsen gum disease

Take steps to improve oral health

Even after treating gingivitis or periodontitis, patients need to maintain good oral health routines to prevent relapse. Remember to brush at least twice daily and floss to keep the oral cavity clean. Regular dental visits for checkups and cleaning are also important. It allows the complete health dentist to check for signs of gum disease and provide treatment before it worsens. It is also advisable to reduce alcohol intake and quit smoking entirely, as these habits can compromise gum health and overall wellbeing.

Request an appointment here: or call Scott Condie Dentistry at (480) 530-6027 for an appointment in our Gilbert office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Gingivitis in Gilbert, AZ.

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