Gum disease is caused by plaque and bacteria that are not properly removed from your gums. When left on your gums, these substances can infect the area around your teeth, resulting in swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. A proper dental hygiene routine including twice yearly visits to our office is the best way to prevent gum disease. When not prevented, more invasive treatment methods become the only option for preventing serious oral and overall health problems.
Gum Disease and Systemic Health Issues
Several studies have now conclusively linked gum disease to other serious health disorders. Bacteria from your mouth can enter into your bloodstream, which may result in a number of additional health issues including:
- Heart attack
- Respiratory disease
- Digestive problems
Gum disease is also listed as a contributor to pregnancy complications, and may be linked to increasing the risks associated with osteoporosis and diabetes. A recent study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention found that people with chronic gum disease are at a much higher risk of developing head and neck cancer. With all of the health problems associated with gum disease, prompt detection and treatment is essential to protecting both your teeth and your entire body.
Treating Gum Disease
The experienced dentists at Ham, Dixon & Boles take a preventative approach to gum disease. Prevention is always preferable, and can be achieved through a thorough at-home routine and biannual visits to our Wilson, North Carolina office. When prevention is not possible, we offer root planning and scaling to treat gum disease and prevent the spread of infection.
Root planning and scaling, also known as deep cleaning, is done to remove calculus and plaque from the roots of your teeth. This procedure is minimally invasive, but can result in a temporary increase in sensitivity and may not offer a permanent solution for removing gum disease. To avoid this process, maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine is absolutely essential.