Gum Disease – More Than Just Gums
Your Mouth: A Picture of Health
Did you know, when a dentist looks at your mouth, they can tell a lot more than just how often you’re brushing? It’s true; your oral health is like a window into your lifestyle and habits. Dr. Ochsner at Neighborhood Smiles Onalaska should know. We’ve seen mouths from all over Onalaska in our office!
If you’re not taking care of the rest of your body, your gums will give it away. Hormones, sickness, stress, diet, smoking, prescription medicine, and more can all affect your gum health.
And that goes both ways. If you don’t take care of your gums, the consequences will stretch beyond just your mouth. Unhealthy gums can lead to an unhealthy heart, diabetes, pregnancy complications, memory problems, tooth decay, and more.
Your mouth is naturally good at washing away and fighting germs. But without proper oral hygiene, it can all build up and lead to gum disease. When it comes to your oral health, it’s more than just pearly white teeth you want. Healthy gums play an important role in your overall health. Healthy gums protect not only your teeth and jawbone; they also keep infection from entering the rest of your body.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the inflammation of your gums caused by a build-up of too much food, bacteria, or other substances. You’ll know your gums are not in tip-top shape if they show any of these signs:
- Redness or other discoloration
- Pain or soreness
- Bleeding during regular brushing or flossing
- Gum lines pulling back from teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Tooth loss
None of these symptoms are desirable. But at their worst, they can lead to a lot of damage. And, if left alone, it will only get worse.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, 20-30% of Americans have gum disease that puts them at risk of losing teeth.
How Can I Have Better Oral Health?
Prevention is the best medicine. Please, brush and floss twice a day (at least, ideally after each meal), and visit your dentist twice a year. Proper oral hygiene is simple, but if you’re not taking care of your teeth and gums, you could be doing long-term damage to your overall health.
If your gums are in need of some TLC, hopefully, a professional cleaning will do the trick. But if gum disease gets out of control, you may need more extensive gum disease treatment.
Let us be your partners in health. Call us today to take the first step toward better health.