November 6, 2018
No one needs to tell you that regularly seeing a dentist near Midland is important to maintaining your oral health and a beautiful smile. But did you know that keeping your mouth in good shape also contributes to your overall health and well being? It’s true. Dentists, scientists and researchers acknowledge the oral-systemic connection. Read on to learn more about this link and how preventing gum disease is especially important.
What is the Oral-Systemic Connection?
The oral-systemic connection refers to the link between the mouth and body. Specifically, we’re talking about oral bacteria than can lead to gum disease.
All stages of gum disease—gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis—are bacterial infections that develop as a result of inadequate oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing at least once a day helps to remove plaque, which is that sticky film in everyone’s mouth. Bacteria hide in plaque.
When not removed, plaque builds up between your teeth and along the gum line. In a short time, plaque hardens and becomes tartar. Now, the bacteria are stuck on your teeth and can only be removed with periodontal therapy in a dentist’s office.
Without treatment, gum disease advances and the bacteria begin to destroy gum and connective tissue. Eventually, advanced periodontitis destroys the supporting bone structure, too.
Oral Bacteria and Your General Health
Unfortunately, oral bacteria may not only cause trouble in your mouth. The same bacteria that destroy gum tissue can lead to several bodily diseases and illnesses.
For instance, a leading indicator of periodontal disease is bleeding gum tissue. If this happens, bacteria could access the bloodstream, traveling to other organs of the body. Similarly, inhaling can draw bacteria into your respiratory system.
The conditions associated with oral bacterial infection include:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart Disease
- Preterm births
Take Good Care of Your Mouth and Body
What can you do to avoid these and other health problems? First, be sure to brush and floss your teeth every day.
Secondly, schedule dental checkups at least every six months. At these appointments, your teeth are professionally cleaned, and gum tissue is carefully examined for signs of periodontal disease. A dental hygienist will measure and chart the depth of gum pockets around your teeth. A measurement deeper than four millimeters may indicate gingivitis and the need for periodontal therapy to reverse the effects and stop the advance of gum disease.
If you haven’t seen a dentist in Midland in some time, then please call today to schedule an appointment. You’ll be taking care of your smile and helping to ensure your overall health.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. Steve W. Cobb is a family and cosmetic dentist. He and his staff offer a wide range of general, restorative and cosmetic treatments for patients throughout West Texas. Call the office today to schedule an appointment.
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