Caring for your teeth goes far beyond maintaining a beautiful smile; your oral health has a direct impact on the rest of your body, as well. In fact, your oral health has a strong impact on the health of your heart, and vice-versa. Continue reading to learn more.
The mouth is naturally home to bacteria. Bacteria forms on the surface of the teeth and tongue in the form of a sticky film called plaque. Proper oral hygiene - brushing and flossing twice daily in addition to regular professional dental cleanings is the key to removing bacteria-filled plaque from the mouth.
If an individual does not practice proper oral hygiene, or if they avoid attending their dental cleaning appointments, the plaque will remain on the surface of the teeth, gums, and tongue. Over time, the bacteria multiplies and the plaque hardens into a rock-hard substance known as tartar.
Tartar is impossible to remove from the surface of the teeth without the use of professional dental tools. Even if you begin to practice proper home care, tartar will remain on the teeth until you have it professionally removed. Meanwhile, the bacteria inside the tartar will continue to multiply, eventually resulting in an infection that can pose a risk to your tooth, gum, and bone structure.
The first stage of infection of the gum tissues is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is recognized by the following symptoms:
- Bleeding and inflamed gums
- Tenderness in gums
- Bad breath (halitosis)
If professional treatment is sought, gingivitis can be treatable and reversible. Treatment usually includes one deep cleaning session to remove the bacteria below the gum line, followed by regular cleanings to maintain. If the condition is allowed to progress, it will develop into gum disease (known clinically as periodontitis). Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bleeding and inflamed gums
- Pain in teeth and gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
- Gum recession
- Bone recession
Gum disease, while not reversible, can be prevented from worsening with deep cleanings
(known as scaling) and root planning's. During these cleaning sessions, the hygienist thoroughly cleans both above and below the gumline before placing antibiotics in the gums to prevent bacterial growth between visits. Deep cleanings are done every 3-4 months, which allows the dentist and hygienist to keep a close eye on the growth of bacteria and maintenance of the condition.
Gum Disease and the Heart
The connection between your oral and heart health is small yet significant; it lies in bacteria, infection, and inflammation.
As previously discussed, gum disease is a chronic infection of the gum tissue caused by high bacteria content. If this infection is not treated, it is possible that it may enter the bloodstream and consequently travel to the heart.
Bacterial infections in the heart can lead to a variety of dangerous health conditions, such as:
- Endocarditis: Inflammation of the inner lining of the valves and chambers of the heart
- Increased risk of a heart attack
- Increased risk of a stroke
Maintaining Your Oral Health
Preserving your oral health is essential for keeping the rest of your body healthy and happy. Below are some of the most effective ways to maintain your oral health and lower your risk for both gum and heart disease:
- Brush thoroughly twice daily for two minutes or after each meal (when possible)
- Floss twice daily or after each meal (when possible)
- Maintain a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables
- Avoid sugary beverages
- Avoid smoking and other tobacco products
- Visit the dentist for your regular check-up and cleaning appointments
- Use an ADA-approved mouthwash after brushing and flossing
If you are an existing heart disease patient, it is crucial to inform your dentist so they can design the most personalised and proactive approach to your dental care. Alternatively, if you have been diagnosed with gum disease, be sure to inform your general healthcare provider or heart specialist, as well.
FY Smile: Best Gum Disease Treatment in Sydney
With the information you’ve learned here, you will be well-equipped for approaching both your oral and heart health.
If you’re in the Double Bay area and searching for the “best gum disease treatment near me”, search no longer. For the most comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry in Sydney, put your trust in FY Smile.
Our team of experts will be happy to help you successfully manage your oral health. We are dedicated to helping you maintain not only a healthy smile but a healthy and happy body, as well.
For more information about gum disease, or to make an appointment, give us a call on 02 8319 5557.
For more informative dental blogs, be sure to check out our Blog page.