Have You Got The Most Common Disease in The World?
You try your best to keep fit and healthy, you eat a balanced diet and follow all the latest medical advice and yet the chances are you are probably suffering from the most common disease in the world……. Gum disease.
Gum disease affects an astonishing nine out of ten of us. And while gum disease doesn’t sound or appear to be life threating science is showing that advanced and chronic gum problems are linked with everything from premature birth to stomach ulcers, pneumonia, coronary artery disease and strokes, diabetes and even cancers.
What is gum disease?
There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the less serious condition, which if left unchecked can develop into the more serious condition periodontitis.
The problem is caused by bacteria in plaque (the clear, sticky film that builds up on your teeth), which starts to attack the gums. If the milder form of gum disease is left untreated the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.
Toxins produced by the bacteria aggravate the gums, and the tissue and bone that anchor the tooth break down. When gum and bone erode away, the root of the tooth becomes visible and you now have a serious gum infection called periodontitis.
Gum disease is a slow-growing degenerative condition of people who don’t brush their teeth properly. It’s also 90 per cent preventable. It worsens with age and is aggravated by lifestyle habits like poor diet, smoking, alcohol consumption, stress and lack of sleep and also by toxicity and inflammation in the body. Gum disease also becomes more obvious when you are ill or rundown physically and emotionally.
Gum disease often becomes an issue for women who are pregnant, post-menopausal and is related to the menstrual cycle too. This shows that hormonal levels have an impact and play a role in gum disease.
How is gum disease linked to other illnesses?
Since 1998 a wide range of research from America has linked gum disease as a dangerous trigger for coronary artery disease, strokes, pneumonia, stomach ulcers and even premature birth.
Although research is still ongoing, it is thought that the toxins in the infected gum enter the bloodstream, travel to the relevant parts of the body and damage occurs through inflammation or an immune response.
How to spot gum disease
You’ll know you have gum disease if you have bad breath, your gums are red and swollen, and you bleed when you brush your teeth.
Many people think bleeding gums are normal, but it is not, if your gums are bleeding they are telling you there is a problem.
How to treat it
If you think you have gum disease go to see your dentist and ask them to perform a gum check. Your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the accumulated plaque and tartar and advise you how to brush and floss more effectively to prevent the disease taking hold. A holistic dentist can also support you to address any underlying health and lifestyle factors that may be adding to your condition.
Brushing gently with a soft toothbrush for two minutes both in the morning and at night in a methodical way will go along way to caring for the health of your gums and in return the rest of your body.
If you think you may have problems with your gums or are concerned about your gum health please call our friendly Dental team to make an appointment so we can discuss your dental needs on 02 4869 3111.