Faced with an infection that produced inflammation of bodily tissues, and gave bacteria entry into the bloodstream, many people would seek immediate medical attention. This is exactly what millions of people are suffering from, however. Gum disease, a progressive, invasive condition can lead to serious health issues if not properly treated. These conditions include the worsening of diabetes, as well as an increased risk for heart disease and stroke, not to mention Alzheimer’s disease.
The beginning of gum disease is bacterial gingivitis, a mild inflammatory condition that can be effectively treated. The disease process begins easily, as debris from the foods we eat is left on and in between teeth after meals. In the warm, most environment of the mouth, bacteria find ample nourishment in these tiny particles of food. They feed, and grow, and combine with food and saliva to form plaque on teeth. Within plaque, colonies of bacteria are able to flourish, eating and attacking gum tissues, leaving them looking puffy and red with inflammation. People with gingivitis may notice that their gums bleed when they brush or floss their teeth. A bad taste may develop in the mouth, or bad breath may become a problem.
Gingivitis is only the beginning of the process of gum disease. If not treated, this condition will progress to periodontal disease, in which gum tissue is broken down by bacterial infection and a threat is posed to bone tissue and the structures that support stable teeth. In time, the attachment of teeth to their supportive structures is loosened to a point where they can become loose, or even fall out. Tooth loss from periodontal disease is actually just one of the concerns of this worrisome condition.
Behind all forms of gum disease lie legions of bacteria. These living microorganisms do not remain in one place. From the infected tissues of the mouth, bacteria find a direct path into the blood, where they can move from one area of the body to another, causing alarming systemic illnesses as they go.
Your health, oral and general, does not have to be affected by gum disease. There are easy ways to keep bacteria from harming teeth, gums, and your body. Dr. Ami and the hygienists at Absolute Dental can show you how to win the battle against gum disease with excellent at-home oral hygiene that includes twice a day brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Regular professional care and cleanings are also necessary for the removal of any plaque that has formed on teeth.
Protecting your smile goes a long way towards prolonged health. Contact us today for your dental check-up in our Norco office.