Are your gums red, sore, or inflamed? Do they bleed when you brush? Some people think this is normal, but it’s actually a sign that you have gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease is the greatest threat to your teeth–it’s the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. But the effects of gum disease extend far beyond your mouth. This chronic infection can increase your risk of heart disease, dementia, autoimmune disorders, even cancer.
Don’t ignore the signs of gum disease. Dr Wanda Mejia, Dr. George Sepiashvili, and the rest of the talented dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Edgewater can help. We can treat gum disease to protect your teeth and your health. Please call (201) 943-6644 today for an appointment at our office in Edgewater, NJ.
A Bridgehead to Your Body
Oral bacteria can be helpful or they can be harmful. Unfortunately, the modern diet and habits favor harmful bacteria. These bacteria want to grow and conquer new environments. This means that although they may start in your mouth, they probably won’t stop there. When they can, they will spread from your mouth throughout your body. Gum disease bacteria can infect your lungs, contributing to pneumonia. They can also colonize your arteries, where they become part of the plaque that leads to heart disease. Sometimes, they can even infect your heart directly.
Along the way, bacteria use many tricks to make your body their home. These can cause even more serious harms. As oral bacteria make their homes around your teeth, they separate your teeth from your gums and bone. This can make your teeth loose or cause them to fall out.
Gum disease is a chronic infection. It causes your body to be in constant alert, known as systemic inflammation. Although local, short-term inflammation can help your body heal, systemic inflammation can be bad for your health. It has been linked to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Bacteria also use tricks to keep your immune system from attacking them. Over time, these tricks can confuse your immune system. They keep your immune system from identifying and destroying cancer cells. Your immune system can become so confused that it starts to attack your body. Rheumatoid arthritis is the autoimmune disorder where your immune system starts attacking your joints, and it’s been linked to gum disease.
With the wide-ranging effects of gum disease, it’s important to treat it as soon as possible.
The Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease
For most people, a thorough home hygiene routine combined with regular checkups and professional cleanings will prevent gum disease. At the first signs of gum disease, we can often head it off by ramping up your hygiene routine. Maybe we will recommend a change to a powered toothbrush, better flossing tools, or perhaps a prescription mouthwash.
More serious gum disease is treated with root scaling and planing. We will clean out the bacteria between your teeth and gums, then smooth your tooth roots so bacteria can’t cling to them as well. Then we’ll reattach your gums so they can heal.
The most serious gum disease may require surgery–including the extraction of teeth. We will typically refer these treatments to a periodontist, but we’re always happier if we can stop gum disease before it gets to this point.
If you live in or around Edgewater, NJ and you have noticed early signs of gum disease, please call (201) 943-6644 or email the experienced dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Edgewater to schedule a gum disease evaluation today.