Ask a General Dentist About the Relationship Between Periodontal and Overall Health

General Dentist Alexandria, VA

For good oral health, you should visit your general dentist regularly. A checkup appointment includes teeth cleaning and an examination where the dentist will identify any emerging concerns. Many people associate a dentist with caring for people’s teeth. While this is true, the dentist also focuses on helping you maintain healthy gums. When your periodontal health is good, you can also enjoy the total wellness you want.

Keeping gums in good shape

A healthy set of gums is just as critical as healthy, strong teeth. In the same ways patients can prevent cavities, they can avoid gum disease. Brushing at least twice a day will remove the bacteria that cause plaque and tartar buildup on the gumline. Flossing daily will remove food particles that can introduce infection in the mouth. It can also help to use a mouthwash each day and continue to visit the general dentist every six months.

The symptoms of gum disease

Gum disease is a serious condition that can affect people of all ages. It occurs when bacteria remain on teeth and at the gumline. It then turns into a sticky substance called plaque and then hardens into tartar. It attacks the teeth and gums, destroying this tissue. Common symptoms of gum disease include swollen, inflamed gums.

Bleeding can also occur during brushing and eating. A person with gum disease may notice that the gums are receding, exposing the roots of the teeth. It can also hurt to chew. The gums may also be tender to the touch.

The consequences of gum disease

Without treatment from a general dentist, periodontal problems can escalate. The gums will start to pull away from the teeth, causing the teeth to become loose. Once this happens, the teeth can shift or even fall out. Eventually, bone loss can occur, leading to changes in the shape of the person’s face. Infections can develop, which can affect the entire mouth.

The link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular troubles

When a general dentist urges a person to floss daily, this habit helps with more than just oral health. There can also be impacts on a person’s cardiovascular system when they do not care for their gums. As infections attack the mouth, these can spread into the neck and face. Eventually, the infection can get into the bloodstream and reach the heart. This can cause problems with the person’s blood pressure and even result in a heart attack or stroke.

Other health issues

Patients with gum disease may also experience other health concerns. Periodontal challenges may have a connection to diabetes and osteoporosis. There is also evidence that a mother’s gum troubles can affect a newborn child’s health, including birth weight. The infection from gum disease can also reach the lungs, causing pneumonia.

Your general dentist can help

If you are not brushing and flossing regularly, start today. These daily habits can turn back gum disease and improve your oral health. As a result, you can enjoy overall wellness too. See your dentist today for tips to get back on track and for effective treatments to restore your gums.

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