Gum Disease: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

No doubt 2020 has made us change our way of life, and yet, our dental care needs remain the same. Your teeth, much like any other key part of your body, need special care. Bacteria and plaque build on and below the surface of your teeth and gums when oral hygiene is neglected. The longer it sits there increases your risk of developing gingivitis, which is the first stage of periodontitis.

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Gingivitis is where plaque and other by-products irritate the gums. It makes them tender, swollen, and much more likely to bleed while brushing. Periodontitis is stage two. Here, the gum tissue starts to deteriorate, detaching from the teeth to form noticeable pockets around the roots. This leaves teeth exposed and susceptible to decay. Finally, advanced periodontitis. Tooth pockets get quite deep as the severe gum recession leads to bone loss. In turn, this causes loose teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss.

 

Periodontitis is also linked to heart disease. When the bacteria attached to your teeth loosen, it then seeps into your bloodstream. Eventually, it reaches your arteries. There the plaque hardens, restricting blood flow to your heart and other organs.

 

Health Risks of Periodontitis

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Osteoporosis
  • Preterm babies

Common Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

  • Genetics – it’s hereditary and some of us are just unlucky! While you may be more susceptible to periodontitis, having a good oral hygiene routine helps keep your smile in a healthy state.
  • Health – underlying medical conditions like diabetes and Crohn’s disease, as well as lowered immunity from illnesses and treatments often affect gum tissue. New medications should always be discussed with your dentist.
  • Bad Habits – chewing on ice, inconsistent brushing, not flossing daily, using tobacco, and even vaping are the most common dental aggravators we encourage you to ditch.
  • Stress – hello 2020! In all seriousness, do keep an eye on exactly how much it’s weighing you down. Both high levels and chronic stress leads to poor hygiene habits. Anxiety can also lower your immune system from fighting the gingivitis causing bacteria.

While there’s no at-home cure, thankfully periodontitis is preventable. And in every case, it is treatable! Your dental treatment plan is always based 100% on your unique needs.

 

 

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501

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3 Ways Oral Health Influences Your Body: Heart Disease, Diabetes, Pregnancy

Happy 2018! New Year’s resolutions are not as popular as they once were, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make changes to your everyday life. Now is always the right time!  Did you know oral health affects your overall health?  It’s important to brush and floss daily along with dental check-ups every 6 months. Poor oral habits can lead to gum disease because your mouth is swarming with bacteria. And gum disease is linked to heart diseases, diabetes, and pregnancy. Oral health is connected to your total health.

Heart Disease

QuoteAre you wondering how your oral health relates to your heart? Everyday brushing and flossing manages the bacteria levels in your mouth.  Without daily cleaning, bacteria is free to flow into your bloodstream and can travel to your arteries.  Arteries are blood vessels that distribute oxygen from your heart to your body. This can lead to atherosclerosis where plaque builds up on the inner layers of your arteries. This can cause clots that can block blood flow through your body.  Increasing the likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Source: American Heart Association

Diabetes

Did you know you are 3 to 4 times more likely to have gum disease after being diagnosed with diabetes?  Diabetes affects how your body processes sugar and leaving you at a higher risk for gum disease. It can also make your blood sugar level constantly increase. Meaning your body has a harder time fighting the bacteria attacking your gums. People receiving gum disease treatment along with antibiotics showed improvements with their blood sugar levels. Be sure to keep us updated on your health history and medication lists.

Source: American Diabetes Association

 Pregnancy

Pregnancy is no excuse to slack on your oral care. Hormone levels are uncontrollable it can cause your gums to bleed, swell, and absorb food. This leads to pregnancy gingivitis.  Another thing to look out for is pregnancy tumors. While harmless, they start to appear during your second trimester between your teeth. If you begin to feel pain or irritation your dentist can have them removed. Most of the time they disappear after your child is born.

A common side effect of pregnancy is morning sickness which can be alarming for your teeth. The acid from your stomach can lead to tooth decay. We recommended gargling with baking soda and water after an episode of morning sickness before brushing your teeth. Dental appointments and procedures are encouraged during pregnancy to help prevent gum disease. It is optimal to have dental work done during your second trimester because the developments of your fetal organs are complete and the risks of side effects are lower.  Once you are in the third trimester it may be harder for you to lay on your back for a long period of time.

Source: American Pregnancy Association

ToothpasteLiving a healthy lifestyle can seem overwhelming but remember to make small strides daily. Here are five healthy habits for a happy life.

  • Brush your teeth twice daily
  • Floss once a day
  • Preventive health care screening, at least once every six months
  • Smile and Laugh
  • Physical Activity
  • Adequate sleep

 

Dr. Ernesto Mireles

Greenfield and Salinas Dental Implant Center

608 E. Boronda Rd., Suite B
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-3524
            and
696 Walnut Ave., #1
Greenfield, CA 93927
(831) 674-5501