Your oral cavity connects to most of your major organ systems, including your digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, and skeletal systems. As a result, keeping your teeth and gums healthy is a vital part of maintaining your overall health. Let’s look at the importance of healthy gums.
Importance of Healthy Gums
Your gums serve a particularly important purpose, but they are vulnerable to bacterial infection and inflammation. When the health of your gums is compromised, you can easily develop other health issues. To better understand the vital role of your gums, let’s take a look at the role they play and how you can practice preventive care.
What Do Your Gums Do?
Your gums serve two major purposes. First, they provide a stable base for each of your teeth, holding them in place. Second, they act as a seal that protects the root of your tooth as well as the underlying nerves and blood vessels from being exposed to bacteria and other harmful pathogens.
Essentially, your gums serve a structural purpose while also providing a physical barrier against everything that ends up in your mouth.
How Can Poor Oral Hygiene Affect Your Gums?
Maybe you have not practiced adequate oral hygiene or you have a health condition that makes your gums more sensitive. Then your gums can become irritated and inflamed. This change further increases your gum’s vulnerability to bacteria and can eventually lead to the development of gum disease.
With gum disease, also known as periodontitis, it is possible for the gums to recede. This allows pockets to open up between your gums and teeth. This pocket essentially breaks the seal provided by your gums. Doing so, it exposes the root of the tooth, blood vessels, and nerve endings to the bacterial infection that is affecting your gums.
Without the help of your periodontist in LA this condition can advance even further. Untreated periodontitis can lead to a number of complications including: lost teeth, abscesses, and the spread of the infection through the jaw or blood supply.
As a result of this potential spread and chronic inflammation, periodontitis has been linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and dementia.
What Can You Do To Treat Gum Disease?
If you suspect that you may have gum disease, then you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible so that you can be referred for periodontal disease treatment in LA.
Your treatment plan will be based on the severity of your gum disease. But several approaches remain that your periodontist may need to use to get your gum health back in check.
The treatments for periodontal disease may include:
- Antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria at the root of the infection.
- Scaling to scrape away layers of plaque that are causing irritation and swelling.
- Root planing to scrape away layers of plaque hidden beneath the swollen and infected gums.
- Gum grafts from the roof of your mouth to replace the tissue that was lost as a result of gum recession and recreate the protective seal.
These treatments are designed to re-establish gum health in situations where the affected teeth are still salvageable. In some cases, extractions and tooth replacement may be necessary as well.
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?
The easiest way to prevent gum disease is to brush twice per day for two minutes each time and to floss once per day. If flossing is difficult due to crooked teeth or another condition, then a water flosser is still better than nothing.
In addition to practicing daily hygiene, go to visit your dentist for a check-up every six months. Also, avoid lifestyle choices that could directly harm your oral health. Do you have specific health conditions or take medications that put your at increased risk for periodontitis? Then you can discuss preventive measures with your dentist.