Can Healthy Gums Protect Your Whole Body?
Our gums often go overlooked. They don't play as prominent a role in our smiles as our pearly whites, and are usually hidden behind our lips. But when you take a second to consider all that your gums accomplish, their true importance becomes clear. The fact of the matter is, without healthy gums, there's no chance of healthy teeth. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, and avoiding it is the surest way to build a long-lasting smile.
Current research is showing a surprising trend, building the case for a mouth-body connection that scientists have suspected for years. Studies show that periodontal health may actually be linked to systemic health. What does this mean for us as dental patients? It's more important than ever to keep an eye on our gums, and take fast action if we notice inflammation. Pick up a few tips so that you can stay informed and know when to visit our Elkhart dentist for help.
Signs of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and refers to the inflammation of the gums. When the soft tissues in your mouth become inflamed, they're at a heightened risk of infection and damage. Gingivitis takes hold when your oral hygiene isn't removing plaque the way it should. Bacteria then builds up at the gum line, irritating your surrounding teeth and gums.
You may be approaching gum disease if you notice the following symptoms:
- Reddened gums
- Swollen gums
- Tender gums or teeth
- Receding gum line
- Puffiness at the gum line
- Bad breath that won't go away
- Gums that bleed when touched or during oral hygiene
If you notice that your gums are changing, it's always a good idea to schedule a dental exam. But before you visit our office, get started on your own gum disease crusade by kicking your brushing and flossin gup a notch. Not usually a flosser? Now is the time to start - it will help reduce inflammation andn lower your chances of developing full-blown gum disease.
Get in touch if you'd like to schedule an exam, or get answers to any of your gum-related questions!