A Periodontist Discusses the Relationship Between Gum Disease and Cardiovascular Health

Periodontist Lubbock, TX

Gum disease is one of the most common issues a periodontics deals with. Also known as periodontal disease, it is caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar making their way beneath the gum line. Plaque is the sticky film that builds up on teeth after meals. Bacteria in the mouth make it, and it houses them and the acids they excrete. Plaque coats teeth surfaces, promoting tooth decay, and it can get into gum pockets, infecting them.

Plaque can be removed by brushing teeth or flossing but hardens into tartar after a few days. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing teeth. A metal tool called a scaler is used to get rid of it during teeth cleanings. It gets to build up on teeth between cleanings, increasing your risk of tooth decay.

Our periodontist explains the link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease

Gum disease is a serious dental issue that comes with some nasty symptoms. It can make teeth appear abnormally long due to gum tissues pulling back from teeth roots. It leads to chronic bad breath, and it damages the structures that support teeth. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

That is not all people with gum disease have to worry about, though. The condition has also been linked to serious health issues like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.

The role of plaque

Some researchers believe the link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease is the plaque caused by oral bacteria. Heart disease is caused by a different type of plaque that consists of calcium, cholesterol, and fat. This fatty plaque can build up inside arteries, restricting the flow of blood. Plaque buildup in arteries is the primary cause of heart disease.

Research indicates people with gum disease are three times more likely to have a severe cardiovascular event like a heart attack or stroke. However, some people with gum disease never develop cardiovascular problems, and the inverse is also true.

How chronic inflammation spreads

The chronic inflammation of gum tissues characterizes gum disease. Long-term inflammation in one part of the body increases the risk of other body parts becoming inflamed. Managing the inflammation caused by periodontal disease can help protect patients against atherosclerosis, which leads to arteries being inflamed.

Staying healthy

The good news is that gum disease is relatively easy to prevent. It starts with good oral hygiene, which includes brushing two times a day and flossing once. This eliminates plaque, bacteria, and acids in the mouth, protecting teeth against gum disease and decay. Regular visits to a periodontist also go a long way when it comes to gum disease prevention since teeth cleanings are needed to get rid of tartar deposits on teeth.

Frequently asked questions about gum disease

Think you might have periodontal disease? Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions:

1. How do I prevent gum disease?

Gum disease can be prevented by making the health of your teeth and gums a priority. It starts with good oral hygiene, which includes brushing twice daily and flossing once a day. Getting sufficient amounts of vitamin C in your diet also helps since it boosts the immune system, making it simpler to fight off infections. Other things you can do to protect against gum disease include quitting smoking, drinking lots of water, and getting regular checkups with a periodontist.

2. Can dentists reverse gum disease?

Absolutely. Gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, can be reversed by improving your oral hygiene and getting regular teeth cleanings. However, the advanced stage of the infection can only be managed with treatments like deep cleanings, gum surgery, and tissue grafts. Early detection goes a long way in detecting and treating gum disease since it is often the difference between being able to reverse the condition and having to live with it for the rest of your life.

3. What are some common symptoms of gum disease?

Symptoms of gum disease can be difficult to detect early, but they become more evident as the condition progresses. Some of the signs a person might have periodontal disease include:

  • Tender, inflamed gum tissues that bleed easily when touched
  • Receding gum tissues that leave teeth roots exposed
  • Loose teeth
  • Purplish gum tissues
  • Bad breath

Protect your oral and overall health

Good oral hygiene and regular dental trips help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Call or visit our Lubbock clinic to set up an appointment with our periodontist.

Request an appointment here: https://highplainsperio.com or call High Plains Periodontics And Implant Dentistry at (806) 686-1262 for an appointment in our Lubbock office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Periodontist in Lubbock, TX.

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