It’s only natural to desire a nice set of teeth. After all, the condition of your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. However, smile aesthetics shouldn’t take precedence over the care of your gums. Negligence in this area can cause more than just an unfavorable appearance. As you continue reading, a dentist in Copperas Cove explains the health issues that can stem from poor gum care. Additionally, learn what you can do to protect yourself.
Compromised Heart Health
Dental plaque that travels beneath the gum line can eventually cause gingivitis (gum inflammation). If untreated, it can develop into gum disease (infection). Because bacteria never stop moving, they can migrate to the heart to contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries. This can result in cardiac arrest or heart disease.
Poor Lung Health
People with gum disease face an increased risk of developing pneumonia. The condition can be triggered by oral bacteria entering the respiratory tract. This can be especially life-threatening for people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Gum disease that leads to tooth loss can make it harder to chew and digest fruits and vegetables, creating a nutritional void. Thus, the body misses out on key vitamins and minerals that are essential to its proper function and longevity.
In the United States, dentists pull 20 million teeth a year. After undergoing an extraction, many people experience social embarrassment because of the noticeable gap left behind. This can impact self-esteem and leave them hesitant to smile.
Another problem can arise from this: hormonal responses that further compromise total wellness. According to research conducted by the Loma Linda University School of Medicine’s Department of Clinical Immunology, the hormonal expression that coincides with smiling and laughing can increase the body’s white blood cell count and help to fight infection. Thus, anything that prevents smiling, serves as an indirect threat to total wellness.
How to Protect Your Gums
Your home care habits factor greatly into the health of your gums. You can implement the following immediately:
- Replace worn out toothbrushes every 60-90 days.
- Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash at least once a day.
- Limit your consumption of foods and beverages that are high in sugar.
- Brush your teeth two minutes each session to thoroughly remove debris.
- Brush and floss at least two times a day to remove food particles and bacteria.
Another way to protect your gum health is to visit a local dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups. You’ll leave each appointment with a clean set of teeth and the peace-of-mind of knowing the condition of your gum health. If there are any issues discovered, they can be treated before they get worse. By taking a proactive approach, you can enjoy better total wellness.
About the Author
Dr. Daniel Caraveo earned his dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry. Throughout his career, he has remained dedicated to providing the absolute best in care. Thus, Dr. Caraveo has taken several hours of continuing education. He offers preventive and restorative gum care at Benchmark Family Dental, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.