As the eyes are said to be the mirror of the soul, it would be equally correct to say that the gums are an indicator of the health of one’s body and another reason why gum health is so vital to keep an awareness of. The official name for unhealthy gums, characterized by tenderness when touched or brushed, swelling, and bleeding when cleaned, is called Gingivitis. This issue can also lead to the more complex one which is called Periodontitis.
However, when the symptoms are caught in the early stage of Gingivitis, gum disease can be treated, and the problem can quickly be reversed. If the issue is ignored, Gingivitis can result in periodontal disease that can cause bone loss in the mouth and subsequent effect of tooth loss. Besides the apparent reason for gum health being vital to having a beautiful smile, there are five not as apparent reasons why gum health should matter to you:
Healthy gums improve other health issues!
Stronger Immune System
Keeping this explanation as simple as possible, bacteria found in gingivitis, the official name for gum disease, disables the normal functioning of the cells in the body that fight off infectious diseases. That is why proper oral hygiene practices of brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an anti-bacterial mouth rinse are so vitally important.
A Healthier Heart
How good your heart is has a lot to do with the quality of time someone spends brushing and flossing their teeth and keeping their gums firm and pink. When a person’s gums are sore, tender, and inflamed, the doctor can see a correlation to atherosclerosis, or hardening, of the arties. This indication is because of many blood vessels found in the gums. When those blood vessels become clogged with bacterial growth, the bacteria will work its way to the blood vessels anywhere in the body and cause inflammation. Also included are the blood vessels in the heart.
A Healthy Mind
Science has also corroborated that gum health has a bearing on whether or not one could get Alzheimer’s disease. This could be caused by bacteria flowing to the blood vessels of any part of the body from the bacteria that accumulates on the gums. When bacteria reach brain cells, the researchers believe that bacteria have the potential to kill off healthy brain cells. This can cause adverse and unwanted effects on the health of a person’s brain.
Prevention of Diabetes
Gum health is vital to the proper functioning of the hormone insulin that regulates sugar that a person eats. Bacteria thrive and love high glucose levels. This is why overindulging on the sweets like candy, sodas, cookies, cakes, and any high carb foods like pasta and bread is a dental nightmare creating not only tooth decay, but also the bacterial plaque that forms on teeth and gums, to begin with. When a person has diabetes, bacterial infections are more likely to bring about a higher incidence of gum disease and is why it is vital for people with diabetes to see their dentist for professional cleanings and dental exams regularly.
Prevention of Respiratory Illnesses
Gum health leads to healthy lungs according to the Journal of Periodontology. The many reports indicate that such respiratory conditions as COPD are linked to the extreme gum disease known as Periodontitis. Bacteria in the upper throat are inhaled to lower respiratory tract.
These cover some of the top reasons that the health of a person’s gums is vitally important. From simple oral health to the effects across the whole body, many people do not realize how vital their dental health is to their overall bodily health. If you still have questions or concerns, feel free to contact us and let us guide you in making the best decisions for your mouth and body!
Call our Leawood, KS, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.