While the typical idea of a healthy smile may involve a set of gleaming-white teeth that are perfectly aligned, the reality is that it all starts with the gums. Thus, gum health should never be ignored. As you continue reading, learn how the soft tissue in your mouth can become infected or harmed, and how it can impact your total wellness.
Why are Your Gums So Important?
Your gums could be likened in importance to the soil that plants sprout from. It is in the hidden caverns of the gum tissue that teeth are formed, and the same tissue is integral in maintaining their health. It is beneath the gum line that the ligaments, cementum and bone necessary for securing teeth are found. Poor gum health can compromise these key components.
How Gums Become Infected
Throughout the day, the gums and teeth are constantly bombarded with leftover particles from eating and drinking. Items that are higher in sugar can cause the most havoc, as oral bacteria feed on their remnants. If bacteria are allowed to harden into plaque and seep beneath the gum line, germ pockets can form, and there may be gum tenderness and bleeding. These are some of the early signs of gum disease (called gingivitis).
Poor Gum Health Connected to Decreased Wellness
Unfortunately, plaque doesn’t stop in the mouth. If ignored, it can travel through the blood to other parts of the body. This can be especially problematic if it enters the arteries, as it can result in heart disease or cardiac arrest.
Here are some of the other health issues that poor gum health can contribute to:
- Oral cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Respiratory infections
How to Protect Yourself
Thankfully, it doesn’t take a complicated effort to maintain your oral health. It starts with brushing and flossing at least two times a day to rid your mouth of billions of harmful bacteria that could cause problems. Monitoring your sugar intake can also help to preserve your oral and overall health. If you have a sweet tooth, try incorporating more fruits into your diet, as many of them are packed with nutrients that support total wellness.
In addition to maintaining proper dental care and making healthier food choices, pay a dentist a visit every six months for a cleaning and examination. If any signs of gum disease are found, the dentist may recommend periodontal treatment. By identifying and addressing a problem earlier, less invasive measures are typically required to restore your oral health. Thus, you can get back to leading a normal life sooner. If you’ve noticed bleeding, sensitive or red gums, or any other changes, don’t hesitate to contact a local dentist to request an appointment.
About the Author
Dr. Alan Rauchberg earned his dental degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. Throughout his career, he has maintained the highest standard of care by receiving advanced training from such organizations as the Pankey Institute and the Dawson Center. Dr. Rauchberg provides comprehensive care, which includes the treatment of gum disease, at Rauchberg Dental Group, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.