the importance of gum healthWhen you visit the dentist, you’re probably doing so to have your teeth cleaned, a cavity filled or your smile whitened. Most of the attention does go towards your teeth. However, the state of your gums is just as important.

Gum health can indicate not only the overall health of your mouth, but give early warning signs to future health concerns. So while the health of your teeth is essential to a beautiful smile, the importance of gum health should not be understated.

3 Gum Conditions To Look Out For

1. Inflamed Gums

Brushing and removing plaque from your teeth does more than prevent cavities. It prevents your gums from becoming inflamed. If plaque remains on your teeth, toxins are released that can cause your gums to become inflamed. The technical term for this is gingivitis.

Gingivitis can be reversed, as long as you begin taking proper care of your teeth and remove the plaque. However, if the cause of your gingivitis is not reversed, it may eventually lead to periodontal disease. This can cause the gums to slowly die and exposes more of your teeth. The exposed area of your teeth are often extremely sensitive.

The big issue with gum disease is it is hard to identify on your own. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association has said almost 75% of Americans have a form of gum disease, with most not knowing about it.

2. Respiratory Problems

Do you suffer from gingivitis? It is important to begin reversing this. Individuals who develop periodontal disease have an increased risk of respiratory infections and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). You may even develop bronchitis. As your gums begin to wear down, bacteria that would normally catch on the gums moves down your throat, which can cause these respiratory conditions.

3. Cardiovascular Disease

Over time, bad cholesterol may begin to cling to the walls of your arteries. This reduces the available blood flow in your body. A reduction in blood flow not only can lead to serious heart and cardiovascular problems, but the slow down in blood reduces the flow of oxygen to the rest of the body. This means it takes muscles longer to recover from workouts, your brain does not receive as much oxygen and illness requires more time to cure.

Should you suffer from periodontal disease, you increase the chance of developing cardiovascular disease. This is because bacteria passes through your mouth, and may cling to the plaque developing within your arteries. With bacteria clinging to the plaque in your arteries, the risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack greatly increases.

How to Avoid Gum Disease

As gum disease leads to periodontal disease, which can increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease or respiratory problems, it is important to know how to avoid gum disease. It all starts with brushing and flossing at least twice a day, not smoking and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

While your brilliant smile brings in the compliments, the health of your gums is vital. Gum health indicates not only problems within your mouth, but potentially the rest of your body as well. So, take care of your gums, and make sure to listen to any warning signs your gums might showcase.

To take care of your gums, schedule an appointment online or call us today (203) 335-6471!