The bacteria living in our mouths feed off the same foods we eat and then create a thin film called plaque on and around our teeth. If this plaque is not regularly cleaned off, it can build up and trigger an inflammatory response in the gums. Gum disease, which in its earliest stage is called gingivitis, has been linked to heart attack and stroke. It has been linked to many other serious health conditions as well.
Women who are pregnant are more prone to gingivitis. The hormones associated with pregnancy may make their gums more sensitive and prone to bleeding. A woman who develops gum disease or who has an active case of gum disease that worsens while she is pregnant may be at a higher risk of preterm birth. Gum disease has also been linked to diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, and inflammatory conditions.
While a percentage of the population may have a genetic susceptibility to developing gum disease, most of us can prevent its onset by practicing good oral hygiene habits. By brushing at least twice daily with antiplaque toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, you can remove plaque from the surface of your teeth. Flossing once daily will remove plaque from between your teeth.
Biannual visits to our dentist for thorough cleanings and checkups are an essential aspect of your oral health care, too. Our dentist will check for signs of cavities and gum disease and suggest appropriate periodontal treatment regimens, if needed.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment.