February 7, 2020
February is Heart Health Awareness Month, which means it is time to talk about gum disease. Wait…what? That’s right! There is a connection between the soft oral tissues that surround your teeth and the organ that keeps blood pumping through your veins. If you’re surprised by this, consider exactly how this is possible. After all, everything you consume must pass through your mouth and into your stomach, right? Naturally, it makes sense that your gum health could be directly connected to your heart, as well as other areas of your body. To find out more about this unique link, hear from a dentist in Richardson who explains what you can do to keep your gum health in check.
From the Mouth to the Heart: The Connective Link
When gum disease attacks the soft oral tissues of your mouth, you will find that your gums become red, inflamed, and may even bleed when brushing or flossing. If left untreated, it can quickly escalate from reversible gingivitis to irreversible periodontitis. What does this mean?
Well, if caught in the early stages, you and your dentist can work to stop the symptoms in their tracks and effectively restore your gum health with regular dental cleanings and good oral habits practiced at home. However, if periodontitis develops, not only are you at risk for bone and tooth loss, but inflammation and infection can enter the bloodstream and lead to the narrowing of the arteries. This, in turn, can result in a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory disease, and even neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
How Can the Dentist Help?
Your dentist will serve as your greatest ally in this fight, which is why the moment you begin to notice that your gums don’t feel or look as they should, you should call and schedule an appointment. Catching gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease, in its early stages will be in your best interest.
The most effective way to prevent it from occurring in the first place is by keeping your regularly scheduled six-month dental checkups and cleanings. These visits will allow your dentist to check for problem areas within your oral cavity as well as perform thorough teeth and gum cleaning to remove harmful plaque and tartar buildup.
If gum disease is already present and advanced beyond the initial stage, it will be necessary to undergo periodontal therapy known as LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure). Using a soft tissue laser, your dentist can effectively remove bad bacteria from the gum pockets, targeting only the infected tissue and leaving any healthy tissue untouched.
Make the choice to take better care of your gum health today. Not only will this work to improve your smile, but it will keep your heart and overall health in check as you grow older.
About the Practice
At McDougal and Richards Dentistry, our team of expert dentists and staff want to help every patient who walks through our doors achieve happier, healthier smiles. This is why when patients arrive with early or advanced stages of gum disease, we offer periodontal therapy to stop the progression in its tracks. By performing a Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP), we can target infected gum tissue and destroy harmful bacteria that cause periodontitis and leads to worsening health problems. To learn more about LANAP and how we can help you, contact us at (972) 231-5376.
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