Preventing Gum Disease – How You Can Protect Your Health
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, can occur when bacteria build up between your gums and teeth. This can cause inflammation, not only in the mouth but also carried throughout the body. An early warning sign of gum disease is when your gums start to bleed when brushing or flossing your teeth.
There are different stages of gum disease. The first stage is called Gingivitis which is a mild form of gum disease and manifests itself by swelling and easy bleeding of the gums. Gingivitis is usually caused by insufficient care but can also have other causes such as smoking, aging, stress and certain medications. This early stage of gum disease is fairly easily treated and can be reversed with good oral hygiene.
When Gingivitis goes untreated the second, more serious stage of gum disease is called Periodontitis. At this stage, bacteria are active in the mouth and produce toxins that stimulate chronic inflammation which can spread to any part of the body. This type of gum disease deteriorates your teeth and gums: Pockets form between the teeth and gums and eventually gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Loose teeth are often the result, not to mention serious side effects of inflammation in the body which have been linked by numerous studies to heart disease, diabetes, strokes and other systemic diseases.
Gum disease is not just caused by insufficient oral care. In women, puberty, pregnancy and menopause are factors, according to some studies, that may increase the risk of gum disease and inflammation. In men, periodontitis can affect prostate health and can lead to heart disease, importance and cancer. Of note is that more than half of American males have some form of gum disease which can be called epidemic.
The good news is that gum disease is entirely treatable but the earlier it can be treated, the better it is. Our office provides that most cutting-edge treatments including the non-surgical, minimally invasive LANAP® procedure which have helped many patients.
But health begins at home and there are several things you can do immediately to protect your teeth and gums, such as brushing your teeth after meals and yes, brushing your tongue because this is the favorite hiding place for bacteria. Flossing helps remove particles between your teeth that cannot easily be reached with a toothbrush.
Mouth washes are very helpful to keep your teeth and gums clean. Three of the most commonly used essential oils in natural mouthwash and other natural mouth care products are peppermint, cinnamon and lavender. Research has proven the efficacy of their antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Last but not least, if you, or anyone in your family suffers from gum disease, do not wait! Come to our office and have Dr. Gashinsky take a look and advise you on the best course of action to arrest the decline of your mouth and restore your oral health.
Source: American Academy of Periodontology