Preventing Gum Disease in Marble Falls
You’ve probably heard of the mind-body connection. Basically, it states that your psychological well-being and your physical health are closely linked. So, if you’re prone to stress, for example, you can elevate your blood pressure and increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Well, scientists are finally beginning to realize that your oral health plays a role in your physical health, as well (something dentists have known for years!).
What Causes Bad Breath?
There’s no way to sugarcoat it—bad breath is embarrassing. Fortunately, with proper dental care and some helpful home remedies, bad breath can be conquered.
But first, it’s best to know the causes of bad breath so you know how to prevent it. Most often, the causes of bad breath can be traced to a buildup of bad bacteria in the mouth, so good dental hygiene is essential to preventing halitosis. Halitosis (or chronic bad breath) is also caused by foods, smoking, dry mouth, medications, gum disease, and sinus conditions.
Halitosis is often a sign of early-stage gum disease. If you brush and floss regularly and still can’t defeat bad breath, consult our Burnet and Marble Falls dentist. After a halitosis examination at one of our dental offices, Dr. Greg Ritchie can diagnose the root cause of bad breath and recommend the proper method of treatment.
Check out these oral health headlines:
- Gum Disease Linked to Heart Disease and Stroke (AAP)
- Study Finds a Direct Association between Heart Disease and Periodontal Bacteria (NIDCR)
- Treatment of Gum Disease May Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Type 2 Diabetes (Science Daily)
- First Oral Bacteria Found Linking a Mother and Her Stillborn Baby (Science Daily)
- Presence of Gum Disease May Help Dentists and Physicians Identify Those at Increased Risk for Cardiovascular Disease (Columbia University)
Sounds intense, right? It should. We tell our Burnet and Marble Falls patients that oral health is a serious matter, and preventing gum disease may be the key to a healthier you in the future.
So, What Is Gum Disease Anyway?
Gum disease is a chronic infection that typically stems from poor oral hygiene (i.e. not flossing, avoiding Horseshoe Bay dental visits, etc.). It’s hard to imagine that an infection in your oral health can have such a dramatic impact on things like the heart, the lungs, bones, blood-sugar levels, and fetal development, but it does.
Bacteria from your gums can affect your body in four ways:
- 1. Circulatory System | bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the gums and travel to other parts of the body. As it travels, it can cause secondary infections or contribute to diseases already in progress affecting not only our Burnet patients oral health but their overall health as well.
- 2. Immune System | The body’s inflammatory response to gum disease can trigger other inflammatory diseases (heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure) and cause arteries to swell.
- 3. Respiratory System | The bacteria from gum disease adheres to saliva droplets that you inhale. You can actually breathe-in the bacteria every time you inhale. This can cause pulmonary infections and respiratory problems in Marble Falls patients.
- 4. Blood Sugar | Gum disease increases blood-sugar levels and makes diabetes harder to control.
Still not convinced? Watch this video:
Diabetes Dental Care
The link between gum disease and diabetes has been debated for some time. Researchers agree that the link exists, but the relationship is unclear. Are people with diabetes more susceptible to gum disease (or periodontal disease), or is it the other way around?
In recognition of National Diabetes Month, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has released some new guidelines on oral health for people with diabetes.
According to recent studies, a two-way relationship exists between oral health and diabetes. Gum disease, an infection of the soft tissues that support the teeth, increases blood sugar levels, which elevates the risk of diabetic complications. Patients who already have diabetes are more susceptible to infection, and therefore, more likely to contract the disease. The bottom line? Everyone, especially diabetics, needs to pay close attention to their oral health.
Caught in its early stages, gum disease can be treated and reversed. Statistics show that up to 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease, usually mild, like gingivitis. Your dentist can show you at-home methods to reduce the risk of gum disease and provide simple therapies to restore your oral health.
Common Periodontal Disease Treatments Include:
Why Periodontal Disease Treatment Is Necessary
Patients near Burnet or Marble Falls with advanced gum disease (periodontal disease) may benefit from periodontal disease surgery or laser treatment. Revolutions in dental tools and techniques have made gum disease therapy more effective and comfortable than ever before.
According to the IDF, diabetics who had their gum disease treated showed considerable improvement. If you have diabetes, tell Marble Falls dentist Dr. Greg Ritchie. Together, we can develop a plan of action that removes obstacles so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you feel you are in need of these treatments, call our office in Horseshoe Bay and schedule an appointment today.
Treat Your Gum Health for Better Overall Health
The bottom line? You can eat right, work out every day, and visit your doctor regularly, but if you neglect your oral health, you’re essentially shooting yourself in the foot.
Visit our Brady or Marble Falls dentist office regularly and prevent gum disease from sabotaging your efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Together, you and our team in Horseshoe Bay can prevent systemic illnesses from spiraling out of control.