Problems with your gums, teeth, and tongue can hint at health concerns deeper in the body.
The health of your gums is one of the biggest indicators of health issues in the body.
No matter how beautiful your teeth are, if your gums aren’t healthy, you could be putting yourself at risk for a slew of health ailments.
Certain unusual symptoms, gums may show can be indicative of other underlying health issues.
Studies show that people with gum disease are more likely to have other chronic inflammatory conditions than people with healthy gums.
Systemic conditions such as AIDS or diabetes, for example, often first become apparent as mouth lesions or other oral problems
Dentists in India are regularly counseling patients about maintaining their oral health as bacteria from your mouth can travel to your body and can cause serious diseases.
Having gingivitis, is the earliest stage of gum disease. It’s still a reversible situation.
When gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, however, the bacteria spreads below the gum line and can even affect the bone, which may eventually lead to tooth loss.
Periodontitis can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on how much bone loss there is. Even if you restore it to a healthy situation, the bone you lost is gone forever.
As if that’s not enough of a reason to pay more attention to your gums, your oral health can often clue you in to whether something’s up with the rest of your body.
An unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease, may increase your risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor.
A healthy mouth may help you ward off medical disorders. Taking good care of your mouth, gums and teeth is a worthy goal in and of itself.
Heart problems and Gum disease
Research suggests that people with gum infections are also at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
The bacteria from the mouth can be transferred down into our blood vessels and may cause inflammation in the arteries.
Even if you only have mild periodontal disease (gum inflammation) around one tooth, it’s in your blood stream, so your body is working on it all the time.
Oral inflammation due to bacteria may serve as a base for development of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, possibly increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
When you have gum disease taken care of with a deep cleaning, it lowers the inflammatory process and helps the entire body.
So you may think you are cleaning up your mouth, but when you take care of your gum disease, you are possibly saving your life.
Diabetes and Gum disease
Diabetes can reduce the body’s resistance to infection and make it difficult to control blood sugar. If you have high blood sugar, you are already at increased risk of developing gum disease.
To protect your gums, make sure you keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as you possibly can. Brush your teeth after each meal and schedule regular trips to your dentist.
Premature Birth and Gum Disease
Severe gum disease may increase the risk of preterm delivery and giving birth to a low birth weight baby.
The theory is that oral bacteria release toxins, which reach the placenta through the mother’s bloodstream and interfere with the growth and development of the fetus.
At the same time, the oral infection causes the mother to produce labor-triggering substances too quickly, potentially triggering premature labor and birth.
Having gum disease treated properly during pregnancy can reduce the risk of a premature birth.
Dry Mouth and Gum disease
Sjögren’s syndrome is another disease that can increase the risk of gum disease.
With Sjögren’s syndrome, an individual’s immune system wrongly attacks tear ducts and salivary glands which can result in lowered levels of tears and saliva, leading to dry eye and dry mouth, including your gums.
When your mouth and gums are dry, it can contribute to or exacerbate gum disease.
Bleeding gums and Hormonal imbalance
Hormone receptors are embedded in your gum tissue.
During pregnancy women may experience bleeding gums, not because of a problem with a tooth but because of their hormones imbalance.
Lung infection and Gum disease
Bacterial chest infections are thought to be caused as all the bacteria travels from the mouth to the body.
This can cause infections, such as pneumonia, or could make an existing condition worse.
People with gum disease have more bacteria in their mouths and may therefore be more likely to get chest infections.
Good oral hygiene is therefore particularly important.
Rheumatoid arthritis and Gum disease
People with rheumatoid arthritis are eight times more likely to have gum disease than people without this autoimmune disease.
They can have trouble brushing and flossing because of damage to finger joints.
Treating existing gum inflammation and infection can also reduce joint pain and inflammation.
What signs should you look out for?
Visit your dental team if you have any of the symptoms of gum disease, which can include-
–inflammation of the gums, causing them to be red, swollen and to bleed easily, especially when brushing
–an unpleasant taste in your mouth
–regular mouth infections.
Dentists in dental clinics in Delhi aim to ensure your teeth and gums are clean and healthy, and check for abnormalities that could be a sign of larger health issues.
Smoking can also make gum disease much worse. People who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque that leads to gum disease.
The gums are affected because smoking means you have less oxygen in your bloodstream, so the infected gums do not heal.
Smoking can also lead to tooth staining, tooth loss because of gum disease, bad breath, and in more severe cases mouth cancer.
Always tell your dentist about any changes to your general health. It is especially important to tell them if you are pregnant, or have heart disease, diabetes, lung disease or have ever had a stroke or any other medical problem.
Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
With a good oral hygiene, you can prevent gum disease. These three steps will help you get started.
1. Proper Brushing
Fighting gum disease starts with proper brushing. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush that isn’t too big for your mouth.
It’s important to replace your toothbrush regularly too since toothbrushes can harbor bacteria. For good measure, replace your toothbrush every two-three months.
2. Proper Flossing
Proper flossing can help clean plaque from the areas in your mouth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Aim to floss once a day, preferably after you’ve had your full day of meals.
3. Routine Dental Visits
Sometimes proper brushing and flossing isn’t enough, which is why it’s important to schedule regular trips to your dentist.
A professional cleaning will help remove tartar and plaque buildup from your teeth and can even help reverse gingivitis if it hasn’t progressed.
Dentists in Delhi routinely counsel their patients about the importance of good oral hygiene for your overall health.
Regular professional dental teeth cleaning can keep you healthier and looking better.
Therefore, even if your teeth look white and pearly and have no cavities, symptoms in your mouth or gums could spell trouble for other areas of your health.
If your eyes are a window into your soul, your mouth is a gateway to your health.
Your mouth is a mirror to what’s going on in the rest of your body, often serving as a helpful vantage point for detecting the early signs and symptoms of systemic disease.
So, it is very important to understand the importance of oral health and its connection to your overall health.
Posted by- Dr Shriya