When it comes to keeping tabs on our health, we seem to immediately understand the importance of nutrition, fitness, and adequate sleep to our overall wellness. Maintaining good oral health is just as important but is sometimes forgotten as a critical part of a healthy lifestyle. And as we have seen over the past few years, staying healthy is more important than ever.
For example, periodontal disease (or gum disease) can have a serious impact on our overall health, and is associated with increased risk of respiratory infections, blood sugar regulation problems in people with diabetes, and even heart disease. According to prevention.com, “People with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease compared to those don’t have periodontitis.”
Periodontal disease is also believed to be associated with Alzheimer’s disease. A pathogenic oral bacteria called Spirochetes may cause Alzheimer’s disease and studies have found the presence of spirochetes have been significantly higher in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people.
Gum disease is estimated to effect around 47.2% of American adults, according to the CDC. https://www.perio.org/consumer/cdc-study.html
However, gum disease isn’t always painful, in fact it is mostly painless, so it can sometimes be overlooked—especially in the early stages. That is one reason why it is so important to continue having regular dental checkups even if you are not experiencing any problems.
Here are seven signs of gum disease you should know:
Tender or Bleeding Gums
Are you gums more tender than normal, or do they bleed when you are brushing or flossing?
Red or Swollen Gums
Do your gums appear unusually red or swollen?
Do you have chronic bad breath that doesn’t improve with brushing or rinsing?
Is it difficult to chew in certain areas of your mouth?
Are your teeth sensitive to temperature variation or to the touch?
Are any of your teeth feeling loose or wiggly?
Do your teeth seem as though they’ve gotten longer? Do you notice your gums receding?
These are seven of the most common signs of gum disease. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you should consult with your dentist right away about checking for periodontal disease, and treatment options. Of course, scheduling regular dental checkups is the first step to excellent oral health, so be sure to see your dentist every six months for a visit. After all, your oral health is a gateway to your overall health.
Mary E. Peebles-Turner, DDS treats patients in Broomfield, Colorado and surrounding areas. To learn more about her services, or if you have any questions about gum disease, please visit https://www.broomfielddentist.com or call the office at 303-460-9366.