Most people realize that what they put in their mouths affects their health. Whether a person chooses to eat junk food or nutritious food, to smoke or chew tobacco, or to have a few too many alcoholic drinks will, of course, impact several bodily systems. But it’s not only what you put in your mouth, it’s the condition of your mouth that can affect the health of your body, too. Research shows a connection between chronic oral infections—in particular gum disease—and systemic health. Dr. Greg Ritchie of the Ritchie Dental Group in Marble Falls, TX, are committed to helping their patients enjoy optimal oral health as well as overall health. With this in mind, we encourage our patients to brush and floss daily and schedule biannual checkups, so we can help you avoid periodontal disease and other oral health problems.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 50 percent of American adults over the age of 30 have gum disease, and that increases to 70 percent among people age 65 and older. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that can have a destructive effect on your gum tissue as well as the underlying bone structure that supports your teeth.
The outward signs and symptoms of early gum disease, or gingivitis, include red and puffy gum tissue and gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to become periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. Symptoms here include loose or shifting teeth, constant bad breath, pus that oozes from in between your teeth and ultimately tooth loss. In fact, periodontitis is the number one cause of missing teeth among American adults.
In addition to these harmful oral consequences, gum disease has been linked to a number of systemic conditions. As gum tissue breaks down, the bacteria that causes periodontal disease can enter your bloodstream. Once in your circulatory system, these bacteria have been linked to diseases and illnesses including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Pneumonia and other respiratory diseases
- Certain types of cancer
- Pregnancy complications and pre-term deliveries
Prevent Gum Disease with the Dentist Burnet Relies On
At your regularly schedule dental checkups, we’ll clean your teeth and carefully examine your gum tissue and measure the gum pockets that surround your teeth. Healthy pockets should be no more than one to three millimeters deep; deeper pockets may indicated gum disease. In addition, lingering plaque and tartar can trap the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. We can perform a deep cleaning including the use of a dental laser that will reverse the effects of gum disease and stop its advance.
Call Our Office Today
If you are seeing any of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, call to schedule an appointment for a checkup with dentist Ilano turns to for complete general and preventive dentistry. The Ritchie Group serves patients from Marble Falls, TX, and the surrounding cities of Horseshoe Bay, Burnet and Ilano.