Oral Health and Overall Health, The New Connection
Right now, as you are reading this, over 500 different kinds of wiggling germs are happy and comfortable living in your mouth. And that’s just KINDS of bacteria. Given that each kind can consist of well over 100,000 bacteria, you can understand why some dentists say that your mouth is home to more individual bacteria than there are people in New York City. And, just like New York City, they NEVER sleep. They only do two things: chow down on food left in your teeth and make more bacteria.
Well, actually, there is one more thing they do and that’s what causes all the problems. They defecate waste product. That bacteria excrement is toxic to your teeth and gums.
Gum disease is a result of plaque, the ugly coating of bacteria waste that constantly builds up on your teeth. The bacteria’s waste (plaque) contains chemicals that attack your teeth and your gum tissue.
- Common symptoms of gum disease are:
- bleeding gums during brushing
- bright red color to gums
- mouth sores
- red, puffy gums
- bad breath (halitosis)
With regular professional cleanings and a quality at-home oral hygiene routine, the plaque can be kept to a minimum and gum disease can be averted. Even the damaging effects of gum disease are also amazingly simple to fix if treated early by Dr. Workman.
Workman Dental Artistry’s hygienists provide gentle, thorough cleanings that remove the plaque coating that regular brushing fails to remove. They also provide education and instruction on how to get rid of the most plaque possible at home.
Recent studies have shown an association between gum disease and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, low birth weight and diabetes. Because gum disease can have an adverse effect on your over-all health, Dr. Workman strongly suggests getting professional cleanings at least every six months.
Gum disease is usually painless at the beginning, so you may not be aware that you have it. Couple that with the fact that gum disease is almost impossible for the patient to diagnose on their own and it becomes obvious why you need to see us on a regular basis. At your cleanings, Dr. Workman and a Workman Dental Artistry hygienist will take depth measurements of the shallow, v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your teeth and gums to determine if you have gum disease.
Gum disease attacks just below the gum line in the sulcus, where it damages the supporting and connective tissues. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket; generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket. In fact, pockets can get so deep that your tooth is no longer attached to your gums or jawbone. And, that’s when they fall out.