Everywhere you turn now days you see articles about how important it is to care for your gums. Mainstream media picked up the news and now everybody knows that gum disease and heart disease are somehow connected. Why are they connected and how?
The answer is really simple. Your gums and your heart are bathed in the same blood. They share the same nutrients and oxygen that blood carries. So, too, they share the bacteria that inhabit our bodies. In this case, bacteria that live in and around your gums will enter your blood stream and go where it pleases. When gums are inflamed they bleed. Bleeding in the mouth is a sign of infection. Bleeding occurs when capillaries (or really small blood vessels) burst open and bacteria is able to enter. Other offenders that can make your gums bleed are heavy metals such as mercury and lead and also certain hormones. Side note: if you brush your teeth and your tooth brush bristles get pink, even sometimes, you’ve got gum disease.
How does bacteria decide where to settle? The honest answer We don t know.
What’s important to understand here is the concept of holism. You cannot study or address one part of your body and not pay attention to the other parts.
Your gums affect more that just your heart. We just haven’t found all the other scary connections.
Good news. Gum disease is easy to treat. One needs to practice good hygiene, have regular dental visits and use oral care products that are safe and effective. In our office we use products that are time and use tested. Our herbal oral care products in most instances are all that is needed to eliminate gum disease. Antibiotics and painful gum surgeries are a thing of the past.
Infection of just the gums is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. It can come or go uneventfully. If gingivitis remains untreated it will progress into a more serious form of gum infection periodontitis. Periodontitis includes infection of ligaments and bone as well as the gums. Periodontitis can eat away bone that supports teeth and it can even kill a tooth.
Here is an important point: any infection is a systemic infection. No matter where infection starts or settles our bodies need to expand the same energy to fight it. The more extensive the infection the more resources the body will use up making them unavailable for the necessary upkeep of everyday.
It may take years before you become aware that you have a problem in your mouth. That s why regular visits are important. Your dentist can spot it early. Because gum disease doesn’t hurt for the most part, you can be lured into thinking that everything is alright. Cars need oil changes and check ups. So do we! To repeat: the least expensive form of medicine and dentistry is preventive.
To keep your gums healthy it isn’t enough to just brush and floss. Health of the mouth best gets accomplished when a healthy lifestyle is maintained. Diet, exercise, and attitude all play a role. That’s the right attitude! More on this sometime in the future. Check back with us often.