When we remind our patients to brush and floss, we’re doing so to ensure a lot more than an attractive smile.
Oral bacteria and the gum disease it causes has been seemingly linked to a laundry list of serious and sometimes fatal conditions and diseases like cognitive decline, stroke, heart disease and premature birth. One of the latest studies evaluated more than 800 European adults. The study found that a more infectious periodontal (gum) bacterium strain was associated with a two-fold risk of pancreatic cancer.
Another caveat: The Mayo Clinic reminds readers that certain conditions like diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis and Alzheimers’ can seemingly worsen when severe gum disease is present. They say that “research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels.”
While gum disease is often “silent,” with no signs appearing until the disease has reached an advanced stage, warning signs can include:
• Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
• Swollen or tender pain in your gums or mouth
• Persistent bad breath
• Change in fit of partial denture or bite
• Receding gums
Sound like a lot of doom and gloom? The good news is that gum disease, caused by plaque, can usually be prevented and, if necessary, treated with professional cleaning and improved oral hygiene habits. If you have symptoms, aren’t following proper daily hygiene and/or are overdue for your Williamsburg Dental checkup, now’s the time to make a call and get back on track for healthy gums and teeth.