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The Additional Health Benefits of Treating and Preventing Gum Disease

It is well known that oral health and overall health are closely linked, but researchers out of Pennsylvania recently solidified just how interconnected they are. In a paper published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the team took a look at how gum disease was related to a host of other health conditions.

They found that the presence of gum disease contributed to the progress and severity of cerebrovascular disease (strokes), type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (which can lead to heart attacks) and pregnancy complications such as premature labor.

Gum disease begins as gingivitis, which occurs when the gums become inflamed due to a bacterial infection. If left untreated, the infection can spread below the gum line and to the tissues holding the teeth in place. Gum disease evokes a strong inflammatory response from the body.

It is this inflammation which likely contributes to the severity of cerebrovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as all three are also marked by an inflammatory response. The situation is a bit more complex with pregnancy complications. Some researchers theorize that the bacteria which causes gum inflammation enters the bloodstream and signals the mother's body to begin labor. Treating gum disease can help lower the burden of these conditions, and it seems that taking steps to prevent it can lower your chances of developing them in the first place.

Gum disease can be prevented with good dental hygiene habits and regular visits to a general dental clinic such as Parkland Mall Dental Centre in Red Deer. Brushing and flossing your teeth every day is crucial for keeping your teeth and gums healthy, and visiting your dentist and dental hygienist can help ensure that you are using the proper techniques. Not only can your dental team give you pointers on keeping your teeth clean at home, but a professional teeth cleaning removes the harmful plaque, tartar and bacteria that has built up on your teeth over time.

Thankfully, gum disease can be treated with proper dental procedures and a customized plan can help to ensure it is always kept under control. If you suspect that you or your children may have developed gingivitis or gum disease, or if it has been a year or more since your last professional cleaning and checkup, then don't hesitate to get in touch with the family dentists in Red Deer at Parkland Mall Dental Centre. We are currently welcoming new dental patients, so give us a call to book an appointment today.