Your mouth operates together with the rest of your body. In others words, your oral health affects your overall health. Dr. Gary Kodish, your dentist in Fort Lauderdale, sees a link between gum disease, decay, dental bite and other oral health concerns and major systemic health issues. So, he stresses routine preventive dental care to keep your teeth, gums and your entire well-being at their very best.
Is Gum Disease Serious?
Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an infection of the gum tissue surrounding your teeth, and yes, it can be very serious. Caused by the bacteria contained in plaque and tartar, periodontitis causes these signs and symptoms:
- Reddened, swollen, bleeding gums
- Tooth mobility and tooth loss
- Tenderness and mouth sores
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in how teeth bite together or in the fit of a denture
Left untreated, periodontitis leads to substantial recession of gum tissue and the supporting jaw bone. Ultimately, tooth loss results. This oral health problem plagues almost half of adults over the age of 30 in the United States, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
Also, research indicates a correlation between periodontitis and systemic health conditions such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis, dementia and other debilitating diseases. While researchers cannot establish a direct cause and effect relationship, people in poor health frequently have gum issues, too.
It may be that the inflammation from periodontitis impacts your whole body and that toxic oral bacteria in plaque migrates throughout the body. Cardiologists report their patients frequently have gum disease, too. When other things such as smoking, age, and gender are not considered, gum disease appears as a co-existing health problem in cardiac patients.
A Healthy Smile Lowers Your Risk
To optimize overall health, Dr. Kodish, your family dentist in Fort Lauderdale, likes to see his patients twice a year for comprehensive dental exams and hygienic cleanings. A skilled hygienist removes the plaque and tartar missed by brushing and flossing. She also measures gum pockets, the spaces between gums and teeth to determine if periodontal disease is developing.
Additionally, Dr. Kodish:
- Inspects for tooth decay
- Checks the condition of restorations already in your mouth
- Assesses your dental bite (an improper bite causes excessive wear and tear on tooth enamel and may even be a source of ear pain and migraine headaches)
- Does a quick and comfortable screening for oral cancer (highly curable if caught early)
The dentist and his team also want patients to:
- Brush twice daily
- Floss daily
- Keep well-hydrated to stimulate anti-bacterial saliva
- Eat a healthy diet, reducing carbohydrate intake
- Stop smoking
Additionally, having healthy, well-aligned teeth just makes you want to smile more. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that people with great smiles are perceived as more approachable and intelligent. Plus, smiling just boosts your self-confidence and mood-building endorphins.
The team at Kodish Dental Group wants you to to be at your very healthiest. If you have questions about your oral health or need to come in for your routine cleaning and exam, please contact the office team today for an appointment. A well-maintained smile means a healthier you!