Gingivitis and gum disease are the two most heard and dreaded words to hear at the dentist office besides the word cavity. All three dental issues are to be taken seriously and dealt with quickly as they can lead to worse dental problems.
We are told to floss and brush our teeth not only to prevent cavities, but to also prevent gingivitis, the pre-cursor to gum disease. While it is understandable why cavities are bad-they weaken the teeth, and take away the teeth’s beautiful appearance. Gum health is just as important, though the gums are not readily visible. It is the gums that support the teeth and protect the root of the teeth.
Gingivitis has dangers that go beyond the pain, inflammation and possible progression to gum disease where teeth can be lost. It can lead to possible other serious health issues.
Studies have shown that gingivitis and gum disease are linked to serious medical issues including heart disease, diabetes and dementia. Below is a list of some serious health problems that have been either caused by or worsened by gingivitis:
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Lung disease
- Premature birth
- Gum disease
The correlation between gingivitis and these health diseases is said to be caused by the inflammation commonly associated with the gingivitis. When a patient gets diagnosed with gingivitis and has swollen gums, this can be a gateway by which germs, bacteria and plague enter the body’s bloodstream. With the germs circulating throughout the body, there is an increased risk of inflammation of other internal organs such as the heart and joints. Infection of other parts of the body can also occur which can result in life-threatening health problems. Unchecked gingivitis can lead to the destruction of blood vessels that lead to the heart and brain which can lead to increased risks of heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and memory loss.
If not treated, gingivitis can lead to gum disease which can lead to tooth loss. Besides the embarrassing look of missing teeth, there are other, serious dental issues that can result. When multiple teeth are lost, for instance, the patient’s jaw may become brittle, misaligned or deformed. An out of place jaw can alter and potentially disfigure the face. A missing tooth can also cause the other teeth to shift and become crooked.
How to Prevent Gingivitis
A regular habit of good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent gingivitis. Proper teeth brushing and flossing are key. Regular check-ups and teeth cleaning at the dentist will also lower the chance that gingivitis will occur.
Once gingivitis is detected, it is important to take proactive steps such as increasing your oral hygiene, lowering your stress level and switching to a more healthy, nutritious diet.
At Artistic Smiles, we can help you prevent gingivitis and its more dangerous effects from occurring by providing thorough bi-annual teeth cleanings with gingivitis and gum disease exams included. We also provide a variety of restoration and general dentistry services. Call us today to set up a teeth cleaning and gingivitis exam appointment.