Gum Disease And Health Risks
If you ignore gum disease, it might be more than your teeth that are at risk!
In the last year or so, there have been an increasing number of reports linking gum disease to various medical problems, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Most recently, a report linked periodontal disease with an increased risk of cancers, including breast cancers, and specifically in more mature women.
Whilst research into these links is ongoing, there does seem to be sufficient evidence that periodontal disease can pose a real and serious threat to our overall well being, not just our oral health. With this in mind, it is worth looking at how we can prevent the problem from reaching this stage.
Early stage gum disease, known commonly as gingivitis, is relatively common and can usually be readily prevented and treated. Good home care is essential, of course, and regular brushing of your teeth is one of the most basic things that you can do to help keep your teeth and gums in good condition. One thing that is lacking in many people’s home care is the use of dental floss. This, or an interdental brush, is essential for removing both food and bacteria from the area between the teeth where a brush can’t reach. Whilst some people might find this a little tricky, the team at The Dental Centre Bedford are always happy to show you how.
We also strongly recommend that you see the hygienist here at your Bedford dental surgery at least twice a year if you don’t already.
In many cases, mild gingivitis will go away with improved brushing and flossing. Over time though, bacteria can build up into a hardened deposit (tartar) on our teeth and this can only be removed effectively through a ‘scale and polish’ performed by the hygienist. Having this done at least twice yearly will play a major role in ensuring that you do not suffer from gum disease. Should proper gum care be neglected, gingivitis is likely to become more severe, eventually resulting in periodontitis. In this form, the bacteria not only affects the gums but the underlying jawbone structure too. It is also at this stage especially, where it is thought that the bacteria may enter the bloodstream and be linked to the serious health conditions mentioned earlier.
Gum disease care is straightforward and easy to do with a little patience and perseverance, but the consequences of failing to do so can be devastating. If you have not seen a hygienist for a while, we recommend booking an appointment to have your gum health checked as soon as possible.
Appointments with the hygienist at The Dental Centre Bedford are available by calling our practice on 01234 819868.