Midtown Manhattan NYC Dentist Shares The Gum Disease Infection Connection
Gum disease is more common than you may think, it has been reported that 3 out of every 4 Americans have signs of mild periodontal disease or gingivitis.
There is a lot of recent research in the area of gum disease, with particular concentration on the connection between oral inflammation, infection, and other major overall health problems.
Emerging studies link periodontal disease to other overall health problems including heart and respiratory diseases, preterm low birth weight babies, stroke, osteoporosis, and diabetes. (Source: American Academy of Periodontology)
Researchers have even claimed connections between gum disease and breast cancer, psoriasis, and even HPV.
What is Gum Disease?
Red swollen inflamed gums (also called Gingivitis) indicate the early stages of periodontal disease (gum disease).
The word periodontal means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth.
Gum disease is the result of plaque buildup along the gumline.
Plaque is the sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar).
When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone.
What makes gum disease so dangerous, aside from deteriorating teeth and gums or leading to other overall health issues is the fact that most people are not even aware they have periodontitis because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Dr. Rastegar encourages every one of our patients to educate themselves and ask us questions for a more in-depth look into one of the most serious – but preventable – oral and overall health issues affecting Americans today.
Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease:
- Chronic periodontitis – Inflammation within supporting tissues cause deep pockets and gum recession. It may appear the teeth are lengthening, but in actuality, the gums (gingiva) are receding. This is the most common form of periodontal disease and is characterized by progressive loss of attachment, interspersed with periods of rapid progression.
- Aggressive periodontitis – This form of gum disease occurs in an otherwise clinically healthy individual. It is characterized by rapid loss of gum attachment, chronic bone destruction and familial aggregation.
- Necrotizing periodontitis – This form of periodontal disease most often occurs in individuals suffering from systemic conditions such as HIV, immunosuppression and malnutrition. Necrosis (tissue death) occurs in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingival tissues.
- Periodontitis caused by systemic disease – This form of gum disease often begins at an early age. Medical condition such as respiratory disease, diabetes and heart disease are common cofactors.
How Do You Prevent Gum Disease?
This one is easy, and costs a lot less than deep perio scaling or worse…
• Floss at least 1x per day, brush 2x per day for 2 minutes
• Don’t Smoke!
• Eat a Balanced Diet
• Cut Out the Stress
• Don’t Grind Your Teeth
If you have questions about the connections between oral health & overall health, gum disease, teeth grinding, or eating right for optimal oral & overall health, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
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This post originally appeared on the dental health blog of Frank V. Maldonado, D.D.S. and has been republished here with permission.