May 7, 2019
You’ve probably never made the connection, but your teeth and gums can have a significant impact on your overall health. Think about it: everything you consume passes along your tongue, teeth, and gums, and ultimately moves through your throat and into your stomach. Along the way, food particles and bacteria can get left behind and cause tooth decay and gum disease. Without proper at-home oral hygiene care and routine dental checkups and cleanings, you could be putting your health at risk. Find out how gum disease therapy in East Islip can do more than just keep your gums clean. Learn how it can also keep your overall health in tip-top shape.
What is Gum Disease?
If you didn’t know, an estimated 80% of adults in the United States suffer from some form of gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, it can range from mild to advanced stages, and in the most serious cases, potentially cause significant harm to your overall health. If you think heart disease, strokes, or cancer are common, gum disease affects more people than any of those combined, including those suffering from Alzheimer’s!
When infection sets in around the gums and bone, you might notice that you experience sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, as well as bleeding and inflamed gums. These are just a few of the symptoms associated with gum disease.
In its early stages, gingivitis, the plaque grows around the gum line and irritates the soft tissue of your mouth. Typically, with good oral hygiene habits practiced at home and regular dental cleanings, this can actually be reversed. However, when left untreated, it can spread beneath the gum line and create pockets. When bacteria becomes trapped in these pockets, it can not only destroy gum tissue but also lead to bone and tooth loss.
How is Gum Disease Associated with Strokes?
The simple answer is inflammation. While it may be surprising to learn there is a connection between your gum health and the rest of your body, it’s very much true. Inflammation occurs when an individual is suffering from gum disease. As plaque and bacteria enter the bloodstream, inflammation and hardening of the arteries occur. This can result in a person having a heart attack or stroke.
The chances grow higher if the person has acute cerebrovascular ischemia, which is a condition that keeps your brain from receiving adequate blood flow. Since systemic diseases such as a stroke weaken your body’s immune system, you might be unable to combat any infection or inflammation you’re experiencing in your oral cavity. This is why if you have oral inflammation, you’re at greater risk of having a stroke, and vice versa. If your brain lacks the amount of blood flow that is necessary, it can increase your risk for oral infections.
What Happens If I Need Gum Disease Therapy?
Should your dentist in East Islip recommend gum disease therapy, you can expect to have a procedure known as scaling and root planing. This is where the hygienist will remove all bacteria before smoothing out the tooth’s root to keep inflammation and infection from returning.
If you’re concerned about the health of your gums, consider going to see your dentist for a checkup. It’s always best to catch any disease or problem in its early stages, so don’t wait for things to worsen. Restore your gum health and put yourself on a path to a happier, healthier mouth and body.
About the Author
Dr. Gary Rosenfeld completed his doctorate at Columbia University Dental School in 1984 before completing a General Practice Residency at Sea View Hospital on Staten Island. Dr. Rosenfeld and his team at East Islip Dental Care want to help you achieve optimal oral health, which means offering periodontal therapy should you learn you have gum disease. To find out how he can help you, visit our website or call (631) 581-8600.
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