When you think about the health of your smile, keeping your teeth clean and free from cavities is probably what comes to mind first. But did you know that maintaining healthy gums is just as important for keeping your pearly whites decay and disease-free, in addition to your overall health and well-being? Dr. Reza Saeidi, dentist at Vineyard Dental Group in Santa Rosa, CA, explains the importance of treating gum disease to preserve your teeth and overall health.

Effects of gum disease on teeth

Gum disease is a progressive oral health issue that starts with mild symptoms that can be easy to ignore, such as swollen or red gums and perhaps some bleeding when you floss and brush. However, if it is left untreated, it begins to have much more serious effects on your teeth and gums. The disease-causing bacteria excrete acids as they multiply on your teeth and beneath the gumline, which can eventually lead to permanent damage such as:

  • Receding gums that cause tooth sensitivity, increase your chances of tooth decay, and negative affect the appearance of your smile
  • Periodontal pockets filled with plaque and bacteria that cause your teeth and gums to separate
  • Loose teeth due to damage to the supporting ligaments and bone structure
  • Tooth loss or the need for extractions

The link between gum disease and systemic health problems

Unfortunately, the ravaging effects of gum disease do not stop at your teeth and gums. Research in the last several years has indicated that there is a link between gum disease and a variety of systemic health problems—and the list keeps growing:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attacks
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia
  • Preterm labor

While the link is not entirely understood, scientists agree that inflammation is likely the main cause. As the bacteria from gum disease enter your bloodstream, they can cause inflammation that spreads throughout your entire body, leading to a cascade of negative health effects.

Schedule your appointment today!

One of the best ways to prevent gum disease is to maintain a great oral hygiene routine that consists of daily dental care at home and routine dental cleanings and check-ups. To schedule your appointment at Vineyard Dental Group, call us in Santa Rosa today at (707) 545-0944 or book your appointment online!

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