Did You Know Gum Disease Affects Your Overall Health?

added on: February 7, 2014

An isolated cavity or toothache may not seem like a big deal, but ignoring oral health care completely can lead to serious diseases, including chronic cognitive and physical conditions. Doctors know that untreated gum disease can quickly overwhelm the body’s immunity defenses, rendering a patient vulnerable to diabetes and dementia, for example. Caring for the teeth and continuing doctor visits are just two ways patients can avoid gum disease and its associated problems.

Oral Health Basics
If a patient has poor dental hygiene, bacteria, or plaque, builds up on the teeth. These bacteria remain active on the enamel as the acidic environment causes inflammation and tooth decay. Unless a patient undergoes gum disease treatment, plaque bacteria eventually make their way into the body’s bloodstream. Because the blood must move throughout the entire body, that bacteria has a chance to grow and cause other health issues in other areas.

Potential Diseases
As a South Charlotte dentist, Dr. Emily SnappĀ can go over possible disease issues with a patient to see if there are any links between poor dental hygiene and chronic conditions. Potential diseases include Alzheimer’s, heart disease, premature birth, diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and endocarditis. Consistent gum disease treatment is critical to keep these diseases at bay before they become life-threatening.

Patients At High-Risk
If a patient has a family history of oral disease or any of the associated conditions, such as diabetes, there is a higher chance that they could suffer from a chronic health problem. Any medications or procedures that hinder saliva production are also high-risk situations. The saliva reduces the mouth’s acidity, controlling plaque buildup. A South Charlotte dentist can help patients find an alternative treatment if reduced saliva is an issue.

Oral Disease Treatment
Aside from a normal dental cleaning, dentists may need to perform a scaling procedure to remove plaque buildup. Each patient has a unique situation that requires evaluation for any particular treatment. The key to healthy teeth is consistent dental visits, reducing the need to perform difficult and painful procedures in the future.

Talk to a South Charlotte dentist about the best way to care for the teeth. In general, brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Avoid brushing the teeth immediately after an acidic meal. Instead, gargle water to keep the saliva flowing across the teeth. Only brush when an hour has passed. Patients need to preserve their tooth enamel for a gorgeous smile through the years.

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