Posts for tag: Periodontal Disease
If you have periodontal (gum) disease, it's important for you to know its effects aren't limited to your mouth. A number of studies demonstrate gum disease can affect the rest of your body — and what may be going on elsewhere could likewise stimulate gum disease.
Here are 3 diseases or conditions that seem to share a link with gum disease.
Diabetes. This chronic disease results from the body's inability to interact properly with insulin, the hormone necessary for turning glucose (sugar) into energy, or producing enough of it. There's clear evidence that having diabetes increases your risk of gum disease and vice-versa. If you have diabetes, it's important that you keep it under control for your gum's sake as much as for your overall health.
Cardiovascular disease. Like diabetes, this group of heart and blood vessel diseases has a related characteristic with gum disease: inflammation. This natural function of the immune system limits tissue damage caused by disease or injury. But in both CVD and gum disease, inflammation can become chronic and itself cause damage. Further, some types of bacteria associated with gum disease can contribute to a higher risk of CVD. Minimizing gum disease occurrence with good oral hygiene could positively impact your risk of CVD.
Pregnancy. While certainly not a disease, pregnancy does trigger hormonal changes in the mother that in turn could elevate her risk of gum disease, particularly pregnancy gingivitis. Not only does this pose problems for the mother's teeth and gums, some studies connect gum disease to the increased possibility of early, pre-term birth. A sharper focus on dental care during pregnancy not only benefits the mother but may also be important for the health of the baby.
These aren't the only conditions that can be affected by gum disease: others like osteoporosis, respiratory disease or rheumatoid arthritis also share links with the disease. If you have any systemic condition like these, it pays to be extra vigilant in preventing and treating gum disease.
If you would like more information on periodontal (gum) disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall.”
Periodontal disease is an oral health concern that commonly affects adults in their senior years, but there are also cases of advanced gum disease in young people as well. The potential of losing teeth isn’t the only concern—untreated periodontitis can also have an effect on a patient’s general health. Here are a few of the key signs and symptoms of periodontal disease that you should look for and discuss with your Downingtown, PA general dentist.
Bleeding, Red Gums with Deep "Pockets"
One of the clearest signs of periodontitis is when the gums bleed just about every time you brush. The gums become red, inflamed and painful to the touch. This is because the bad bacteria that live in tartar or calculus has overwhelmed the area surrounding each tooth and is breaking down the gum tissue. As time goes on, pockets begin to form around the teeth. When the pockets are measured at 4 mm deep, that’s cause for concern. When they reach over 6 mm deep, it is considered advanced periodontal disease.
Loose or Moveable Teeth
Another symptom of periodontal disease to look out for is loosening teeth—especially if more than one tooth is affected. As the gums continue to separate from the teeth due to this dental disease, the teeth can’t stay as firmly rooted. Your Downingtown general dentist will perform a test of the mobility of each tooth when evaluating you for periodontitis.
Very bad breath that doesn’t go away with brushing is another possible sign of periodontal disease. When harmful bacteria overwhelm the gums, it creates a distinctive odor and taste in the mouth that’s difficult to get rid of. Usually, morning breath goes away with toothpaste or gargling with mouthwash, but when bad breath continues throughout the day it may be a symptom of gum disease.
Schedule an Immediate Consultation
If you have any of these signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, it’s important that you see a general dentist at Chestnut Dental Associates in Downingtown, PA for a consultation as soon as possible. Call the office today at (484) 364-4292 to set up a time and day for an appointment.
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, affects more than 64 million American adults--nearly 50% of the adult population. Gum disease ranges from mild, easily treated inflammation to full-blown infections leading to tooth and bone loss.
Because periodontal disease is so prevalent, it’s essential to keep up with your regular dental exams so that any signs of infection or inflammation can be treated before the condition becomes serious.
Signs You May Have Gum Disease
Gums that are red, swollen, sore, or prone to bleeding
Persistent bad breath
Receding gums or teeth appearing longer
Pain when chewing
Teeth that are loose or sensitive
Progression of Gum Disease
Gum disease begins with the formation of dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria that develops over teeth and gums. Plaque is normal and unavoidable, but it needs to be consistently removed through daily oral care and regular dental cleanings.
Any plaque that is not removed will eventually harden into tartar, which cannot be removed through brushing alone. Bacteria in tartar can cause inflammation of the gums--a periodontal disease called gingivitis.
If gingivitis is not treated early, it can progress into periodontitis. This is a condition in which the gums become so infected that they pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where the bacteria proliferate. The bacteria combined with the body’s immune response cause weakening of the teeth and bones.
At this stage you are at risk for tooth loss, bone loss, and other serious health conditions. The existing infection can spread to other areas of the body, while the immune system is already weakened and less able to protect against other invaders.
Smoking: Smoking is the biggest risk factor associated with the development of periodontal disease. It also decreases the chances of successful treatment.
Age 65 or older: The CDC finds that the percentage of older adults with periodontal disease is even higher than other age groups--a whopping 70%.
Hormonal changes: Girls and women are at increased risk of gum disease due to certain hormonal fluctuations. Pregnant women frequently find that their gums are inflamed, and should take extra care with dental hygiene and checkups during this time.
Diabetes: People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing infections.
Weakened immune system: Anyone whose immune system is compromised from other health conditions are at increased risk of oral infections.
Downington General Dentist for Healthy Gums
With the high prevalence of gum disease in this country, all teens and adults should be vigilant about maintaining dental health. Frequent cleanings and exams will ensure that any signs of gum disease can be treated early, before they progress to more serious health conditions.
If you have any of the signs or risk factors above, schedule an exam at Chestnut Dental Associates or call (484) 364 - 4292 today. Your Downington, PA general dentist will help you make sure your gums stay healthy for a lifetime.