After joining the dental field, I have encountered many experiences to drive the point home about the importance of oral health care. Good oral hygiene and gum care are extremely important to overall health. There are several risks of not maintaining good dental care and periodontal disease is one of those risks.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is basically an infection of the gums. If proper brushing and flossing is not routine, the gums can easily become inflamed and accumulate more plaque and bacteria, therefore leading to infection. This infection can leach deep into the gum pockets, throughout the entire mouth, and then to the bones. In more progressed cases, the infection can eventually lead to the loss of teeth.
Cancer Treatments/Infections & Periodontal Disease
Those who are prone to infections or have a compromised immune system should particularly be cautious of their oral hygiene and gum care. For instance, certain cancer treatments can deplete salivary glands and the lack of saliva can cause a higher risk of gum disease.
Diabetes & Periodontal Disease
Diabetics with periodontal disease can have complications in regulating their blood glucose levels. In general, severe periodontal disease increases blood sugar levels and requires, especially for diabetics, to closely monitor diet and blood sugar. It is frequently said that diabetes and periodontal disease go hand in hand.
Heart Disease/Strokes & Periodontal Disease
The infection of the gums, which can be kept at bay with daily brushing and flossing, can also affect other parts of the body. If periodontal disease is left untreated, the active infection can be introduced to the blood stream through ingestion. As new correlational studies have shown, periodontal disease can put people at a higher risk for heart disease, strokes, and low birth weight for fetuses. Like for many, it was quite surprising for me to learn about these serious complications caused by the lack of good oral hygiene and gum care. This is information I feel everyone should be aware of. I now try to convey my knowledge and essential information to everyone I meet. Hopefully, this helps inform people or inspire them to focus on their daily hygiene rituals or at least book an appointment for your next dental checkup.