At Downtown Dental Specialty in San Diego, we understand the importance of oral health and its impact on your overall well-being. Recently, studies have shown a link between gum disease and a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, among several others. By better understanding the connection between gum disease and your systemic health, as well as ways to prevent and detect gum disease, you can boost your quality of life in the years ahead.
What’s The Difference Between Gum Disease, Periodontitis, And Gingivitis?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It starts out as mild inflammation, known as gingivitis, gradually evolving into more severe infections (periodontitis,) which can lead to tooth loss.
Studies have shown that individuals with gum disease are more likely to suffer from heart problems and diabetes, and vice versa. The exact connection is not fully understood, but it is thought that inflammation caused by gum disease and plaque spreading from the mouth into the cardiovascular sytstem may contribute to the development and progression of this condition. In some studies, researchers found periodontal bacteria lodged within the heart or arteries of cardiovascular attack victims
How Do I Prevent Gum Disease?
To prevent gum disease, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. Upgrading to oral hygiene aids like an electric toothbrush or a water flosser can also be helpful. It’s also important to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings every six months so that our dentist in San Diego can detect and treat early signs of gum disease before it becomes a more serious problem. These preventative cleanings will help you control plaque and tartar buildup—which are responsible for periodontitis—between checkups.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
In addition to scheduling regular dental exams and periodontal screenings, you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease. These can include red, swollen, and bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath, and loose or shifting teeth. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.
Should I tell my dentist and hygienist if I have a heart condition? Will I need antibiotics before a dental procedure?
If you have a heart condition or diabetes, we’ll need to know before scheduling any dental procedures. Especially surgeries such as dental extractions or sedation appointments. We will take extra precautions to ensure your safety and may even recommend antibiotics before certain procedures to reduce the risk of infection. Our San Diego dentist may want to speak with your medical specialist beforehand to ensure a holistic approach to your care.
It is also important for individuals with heart disease or diabetes to pay extra attention to their oral health, as they may be at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings, as well as good oral hygiene practices, are essential in maintaining good oral health and reducing the risk of complications.
Know the Risks
Gum disease is a serious oral health condition that can lead to a number of health problems as bacteria spreads elsewhere in your body. Including your heart, lungs, brain, and other organs. You can’t treat issues like a cardiovascular disease without also paying attention to an infection inside your mouth.
If you have a heart condition let us know. We’ll help you stay ahead of potential gum disease to lower your risk of dangerous side effects.
Schedule Your Checkup Today
At Downtown Dental Specialty, we are committed to providing our patients with the highest quality of care. If you have any concerns about your oral health or would like to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you maintain a healthy beautiful smile, as well as a healthy heart!