Who would imagine that there is connection between the incidence of stroke and gum disease? Your dentist, that’s who. Research shows the vascular inflammation associated with strokes is not dissimilar to the inflammation of gum disease in Plano. In fact, one study shows that patients who have had an acute cerebrovascular ischemia were more likely to also have an oral infection when compared to a control group. Continue reading to learn more about the link between these two conditions and what you can do to have a healthy mouth and body.
The Oral-Systemic Connection
The connection between your mouth and body—known as the oral-systemic connection—is closely linked to the health of your gum tissue. In addition to stroke, people that have gum disease are more susceptible to a number of bodily illnesses and diseases. These include:
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses
There also seems to be a connection between periodontal disease and certain types of cancer, including lung, pancreatic and kidney.
The 4-1-1 on Gum Disease
The disease begins with plaque and tartar buildup along your gum line. If not removed daily with brushing and flossing, plaque will eventually harden and become tartar. Bacteria flourish in both plaque and tartar. As these bacteria multiply, they begin to invade and destroy gum tissue and eventually the underlying bone structure that supports your teeth.
The Signs of Gum Disease
At first, you may not be able to see any visible signs of gum disease. That’s why checkups with a dentist in Plano are so important. During this visit, the depths of gum pockets around your teeth are measured; pockets that are too deep may indicate the beginning of periodontal disease.
Other signs that you should be on the lookout for include:
- Gums that are red and swollen
- Bleeding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- An ill-fitting denture
- Loose teeth
Treatment for Gum Disease
If gum disease is found during a dental checkup, then your dentist may be able to treat with non-surgical therapy called scaling and root planing. During this procedure, hardened plaque is removed from above and below the gum line. This is known as scaling.
Then, during root planing, tooth roots are smoothed so plaque and tartar are less likely to stick to stubborn rough spots. Your dentist will also want you to stick to a stringent at-home oral hygiene routine in order to prevent bacterial overgrowth.
Now that you know taking care of your teeth and gums has a lot to do with keeping you alive and well, take this opportunity to schedule a checkup. There is so much to gain—and so many troubles to avoid—when you see the dentist regularly.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Jason Montgomery is a dentist in Plano, TX. He and his staff of dental hygienists and assistants offer gum disease treatment to help you enjoy good oral and general health. If you need to schedule an appointment, call the office today.