Most people know that practicing good oral hygiene is important for encouraging clean, healthy teeth. Did you also know maintaining optimal oral health is beneficial for preventing a variety of diseases, such as gum disease, along with more serious health conditions? Research shows a link between gum disease and other health issues. Far from an isolated condition, it’s often occurring alongside various other health problems. This is exactly why, if you want to invest in your overall health, not to mention prevent serious illness, you must care for your teeth and gums.
Gingivitis is an oral condition where harmful bacteria builds on the teeth, causing tender, swollen gums. In some cases, though, it has no warning signs. That’s why regular checkups are vital for catching it early. If neglected, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis — a more serious problem. Periodontitis typically involves receding gums and can lead to severe infections and even tooth loss.
Because the body is so interconnected, what’s infecting one part can impact others. Bacteria present in periodontal disease, for example, can move through the bloodstream to cause hardening of arteries, damage of blood vessels and a stroke. Gum disease has been linked with memory conditions such as dementia, pregnancy problems such as premature birth or low birth weight, diabetes, pancreatic cancer, and more.
Given that oral hygiene has such a big impact on the rest of the body, it’s vital to care for your teeth and mouth properly. Always brush and floss at least twice a day. It’s also wise to use the right kind of toothpaste, see the dentist regularly and eat a balanced diet to support your health.
To learn more about the connections between gum disease and overall health, take a look at the accompanying guide. In it, you’ll find a breakdown of various side effects of gum disease, as well as a list of tips to help prevent the condition.
About The Author:
Dr. Kristina Sakas Katz, an Associate Orthodontist at Rosen Orthodontics, joined the practice in 2017. She has been a lifelong orthodontic learner, starting at age 10, when could be found shadowing her mother, Dr. Jacqueline G. Rosen, at the office. This early childhood interest developed into a passion.
The guide created by Rosen Orthodontics