When caring for your health, it is imperative to take into consideration your oral health. By not regularly visiting your dentist and getting the dental care that you need, you may be putting yourself and your oral health at risk. One of the most commonly overlooked dental components is the gums. Failure to get regular checkups can lead to severe gum disease and unfortunately, most don’t know that they’ve developed gum disease until it is too late.
Before you find yourself in the dental chair with a dose of bad news, below are a few things to think about when it comes to the dangers of gum disease.
The Development of Heart Disease
One of the most severe implications of neglecting your gum health is the potential development of heart disease. Studies show that individuals who develop gum disease are also twice as likely to develop coronary artery disease. Researchers speculate that the reason behind this is that the bacteria from the mouth flows into the bloodstream and creates fatty plaque within the heart’s arteries. The blockage thereby leads to inflammation and other heart troubles.
Many people tend to brush off bleeding gums as something that results from their ardent efforts with the toothbrush and the floss. However, bleeding gums are actually one of the first warning signs of periodontal (gum) disease. Gums bleed because of their weakness and poor health. Therefore, if you’ve noticed bleeding gums, then it may be a sign of gum disease. At this stage, you should visit your dentist immediately to ensure that your gums have not receded well below the tooth.
Another consequence of gum disease is tooth loss. Those who have gum disease have increasingly poor gum health. Unhealthy gums are unable to hold the tooth to the bridge bone, thus causing immense weakness. If gum disease progresses to a severe stage, tooth loss may ensue. To resolve the problem, your dentist may recommend a tooth implant. However, if your gum disease is too severe, then the implant may not be as effective as it could be. So, taking care of your gums is the foundation to good dental health.
Your Mental Health May Suffer
Lastly, another severe consequence of gum disease is that some researchers hypothesize that it could lead to poor mental health. The reasoning behind this is that the increased plaque from gum disease enters the blood and travels to the brain. Once in the brain, the plaque builds up more, thereby impairing your memory. If you have a genetic predisposition to memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer, then ensuring that your gums are healthy can be a preventative measure.
Your oral health is extremely important and shouldn’t be overlooked. Generally, it is recommended that you visit the dentist about twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups. By meeting this standard, you can take the right steps to protecting yourself against the development of gum disease.
If you are looking for a dentist in Centreville VA, call Dr. O’Donnell to schedule an appointment!