It seems like every day the public gets bombarded with tips and suggestions on how to be healthier. And sometimes, just when you’ve gotten into a new “healthier” regimen, the news comes out that new studies suggest that particular regimen isn’t so healthy after all! So, when your dental professional tells you that good oral hygiene is important to your health, you may be asking why.
Well, as it turns out, developing good oral hygiene actually does have health benefits and the earlier you get started on being rigorous with your oral health, the better. Time has proven that taking care of your teeth and gums is beneficial and this advice has stood the test of time.
So, let’s look at some of the ways starting an oral hygiene regimen early in life and maintaining it through life can benefit you.
Of course, at the top of the list is gum disease. And the older you get, the more at risk you become for serious – and expensive – dental issues that revolve around gum disease. Gum disease is progressive and go from stage one to stage four. It can go from mild to very complicated fairly quickly. Good oral health habits will go a long way to helping you stave off gum disease entirely, but you should still visit your dental professional on a regular basis so that if gum disease begins, it can be fixed easier.
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you notice bleeding gums – or heaven forbid, tooth loosening or lose – you may be in the early stages of gum disease. Another characteristic of gingivitis is receding gums. If you notice any of these signs, you should make an appointment with your dental provider.
If you don’t catch gum disease in the early stages when it has a possibility of being reversed, it can advance to a more serious stage of periodontal disease. From slight periodontal disease to moderate to advanced periodontal disease, these stages are not reversible.
Slight periodontal disease is not reversible, but it can be managed. With this stage, infection in the gums has spread to – and started destroying – the bones. The next stage, moderate periodontal disease, means the infection and bacteria are not only in the bones, but in your blood stream and affecting your immune systems, as well. With stage four, advanced periodontal disease, the infection and bacteria are likely causing actual bone loss, which can lead to serious health issues and loss of teeth.
These later stages of periodontal disease will need to be diagnosed and treated by a dental professional. But why even go there? Stage one – gingivitis – can be prevented with good oral health, which includes brushing and flossing twice a day.
Many people don’t realize that poor oral health has a proven connection to cardiovascular and heart problems in some people. There is a link between chronic inflammation due to periodontal disease or gum disease and a higher risk of blood vessel obstructions, strokes and heart attacks and high blood pressure.
The American Dental Association and American Heart Association have both recognized the link between gum disease and heart disease, based on fairly recent studies. In a 2014 study, people who received professional and adequate care for gum disease had cardiovascular care costs 10 to 40 percent lower than those who didn’t. Other studies have shown that gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease by 20 percent.
So, don’t forget! Brush and floss twice daily and visit your dental professional on a regular basis because your oral care can go straight to the heart of the matter!
At San Antonio Periodontics & Implants, we care about your oral health and all the ways it can impact your health – and your purse! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Our professional and gentle treatment of gum disease, cosmetic procedures and dental implants is personalized.