Saturday, 23 October 2010
Gum disease is a much over looked disease. This disease is seldom blamed for other health conditions. We now know that the bacterium that causes gum disease, travels through our blood stream and can invade various organs in our body making existing conditions worse. This doesn't occur over night but through time. Reflecting back with my own bout with gum disease, I had no idea what this disease was or what damage it causes.
My teeth were strong and my gums were healthy. Little did I know that the bacteria that causes this disease was working on my gum line and gradually working it's way into the gum pockets. Once there, the bacteria found a home to breed. Again, this didn't occur over night but it took several years for it to become noticeable.
What I failed to realize, was that gum disease is hereditary as it is along with other diseases. If disease lurks somewhere in your family tree, chances are you may have inherited this unwanted gift.
Periodontal (gum) disease can carry emotional scars as well as causing physical damage. It's difficult to hide a smile with a few missing teeth. Dental procedures can always in most cases restore your smile, however, they can be expensive. If gum disease becomes to far advanced, it almost certainly results in the loss of teeth.
For those of us who just can't afford the price of expensive dental procedures, alternative methods can be used to save the teeth that we have and restore our gums back to a healthy condition. Having dental check ups twice a year should be a priority, and treating gum disease in it's early stages is the best way to keep your smile.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, about 80% of U.S. adults currently have some form of gum disease.
Gum disease not only affects our oral health, it also plays a significant part in the over all health of our body.
- Approximately 95% of Americans with Diabetes also have gum disease, due in part to an increased susceptibility to infections. Periodontal disease not only is a discomfort and risk factor for those with Diabetes, but may make Diabetes worse.
- Researchers have found that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from heart disease as those without gum disease
- The American Academy of Periodontology states that pregnant women who have gum disease, may be seven times more likely to have a baby that is born to early and too small.
I would also like to mention a condition that is not directly related to gum disease, but can be a contributing factor.
Bruxism is when the teeth are constantly being clenched. This usually occurs with those that are under-going long term stress or anxiety. Constant clenching of the teeth can lead to wearing down of tooth enamel, tooth sensitivity and loose teeth, which in time will give gum disease an open field to play. It also can occur during the day or when one is sleeping. To alleviate this condition, purchase an over the counter mouth guard which will cushion the teeth. This usually works well.
When brushing your teeth, do not use a toothpaste that contains SLD (sodium lauryl sulfate). SLD is a foaming agent that is used in commercial and industrial cleaners. It's used in toothpastes to produce foam, which floats away food particles. It also is a big irritant to our gums.
Mouthwashes are great for eliminating bacteria that brushing cannot reach. However, do not use a mouthwash that contains alcohol. The reason being, is that alcohol will dry the saliva up leaving the mouth defenseless against bacteria causing germs which thrive in dry environment.
Are you afraid of getting gum disease? Are you taking any precautions towards avoiding gum disease?