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What Is the Connection between Gum Disease and General Health?

One of the main reasons why we encourage patients to visit our dentist in South Benfleet at regular intervals is to check for signs of disease. While it’s easy to assume that tooth decay is one of the main oral health problems we are looking for, gum disease is far more of an issue and is a major cause of tooth loss. Even worse, gum disease could affect your general health.

gum-diseaseHow Gum Disease Can Affect Your General Health

Over the past few years there has been increasing interest into the link between gum disease and other serious health conditions that include rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, diabetes and heart disease. At the moment researchers aren’t quite sure of the exact link but it’s thought to be due to the fact that gum disease is an inflammatory condition that causes gums to bleed, allowing bacteria that cause this condition to get into your bloodstream and to travel freely around your body.

Once these bacteria have got into your bloodstream, it’s thought they are able to create new sites of inflammation in your body. With a disease like diabetes this can be a real problem, making it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. What’s even worse is that diabetics are more at risk of developing gum disease as poorly controlled blood sugar levels lead to an increase of glucose in saliva, providing the perfect fuel for the bacteria that cause gum disease.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease is caused by bacteria building up over your teeth and gums and is generally due to a failure to brush and floss properly. If you don’t brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once-a-day, then it’s highly likely some bacteria will remain in a sticky layer called plaque. Unfortunately plaque soon hardens into tartar and can only be removed by a South Benfleet dentist or hygienist during a scale and polish. Both plaque and tartar release toxins that infect and inflame your gums.

How We Can Help You

Every patient who comes to visit us here at South Benfleet Dental Care will receive a full dental assessment where we will assess your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. We also need to know a bit about your medical history as this can affect your risk levels. All this information is used to provide you with a personalised treatment plan designed to reduce your risk of gum disease and other oral health conditions using the most up-to-date and effective preventative dental care treatments available today. If you do have a condition that affects your immune system, such as diabetes, then we can work closely with you to lower your risk of gum disease. It’s quite possible we may suggest you come in more frequently than every six months or that you see a hygienist every few months to have your teeth professionally cleaned as this is a great preventative dental care treatment.

If you ever notice the early signs of gum disease such as bleeding gums or gum recession, then we do urge you to contact our South Benfleet dentist as soon as you can. Early treatment can eradicate this disease, but if it progresses then it can become chronic. Contact us to book your appointment on 01268 793485. Alternatively you can book online at www.SBenfleetdentalcare.co.uk.

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