For the most part, when we think of gum diseases like gingivitis, we do not think beyond our teeth and mouth. Unfortunately, gum diseases do not just wreak havoc in our mouth. Doctors have discovered that oral diseases can actually worsen our overall health and even lead to major health concerns like heart disease. So, it is important to remember that healthy gums go hand in hand with overall wellness of the body.
What is Gum Disease?
Let’s briefly look at how periodontitis, a type of gum infection which causes the inflammation in the mouth, actually develops. It all begins by a buildup of bacteria in the plaque which results in inflammation of the gums. Then, the inner bone recedes due to inflamed gums and a pocket is formed. This leads to increased inflammation may cause the tooth to loosen and fall out.
Periodontitis used to be looked at in the past as merely a disease of the mouth. However, recent studies have proven that there is a significant relation between periodontitis and our overall health. For example, extreme forms of plaques and gingivitis can lead to major health problems like dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, The NHANES found that people who suffer from periodontitis are more likely to develop coronary heart disease. And, 72% of men who are under the age of fifty and suffer from periodontitis have a high probability of developing heart diseases.
In addition, other researchers have also found a correlation between gum disease and diabetes. To be specific, periodontitis hinders the body’s ability to utilize insulin. As a result of this, individuals suffering from periodontitis are more likely to develop high blood sugar. Additionally, people with diabetes are also more prone to be affected by periodontal diseases because of the body’s inability to effectively fight infections and diseases.
Protecting Your Gums
To avoid experiencing all these problems, it’s necessary to keep the gums in good health. Here are some important tips that will keep your oral health in great condition:
- Floss before brushing your teeth; it makes for a more comprehensive brushing.
- Brush your teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste and use a fluoride mouthwash. Fluoride is great for protecting the teeth and gums against cavity
- Have regular checkups at the dentist to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy.