Most think gum disease is merely a dental issue – but gingivitis/periodontal disease can affect your heart, nervous and endocrine systems as well.
According to the American Academy of Peridontology, those afflicted with Gum Disease are 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers. There is a also direct link to heart disease – Scientists from the University of Florida found the “smoking gun” back in a 2005 study where oral bacteria was isolated in arterial plaque.
Some indicators that one is at elevated risk for periodontal disease are: stress, tobacco use, genetics, certain medications, poor nutrition, heart disease and diabetes. Some 70 percent of individuals over the age of 65 develop gum disease.
Interestingly, the smell of your breath can indicate the presence of disease too: An ammonia smell can indicate kidney failure; a sweet smell/acetone can mean diabetes; a fecal smell can mean a bowel obstruction; a fishy smell could mean liver disease; foul breath could be from sinusitis and a yeast smell could mean oral candidasis.
Bad breath in general can be a sign of tooth abcess, gum disease, mouth cancer and appendicitis.
Please let your dentist or primary care provider know if you notice a distinct change in your breath – you may need further testing and/or treatment.
Effective teeth cleaning cannot be accomplished with brushing and flossing alone. You must visit a professional to manually remove the tartar and plaque because it actually cements itself to the tooth. This plaque causes inflammation and if left untreated can cause systemic issues and in some cases the bacteria from gum disease can be aspirated (breathed in) to the lungs and cause pneumonia.
Take care of your gums and teeth and if you have not done so – make an appointment today!
But you can do your part to keep your gums healthy -ways to help prevent periodontal disease are to:
· Brush your teeth, including your tongue.
· Floss your teeth daily.
· Rinse your mouth either with mouthwash and/or fluoride rinse.
· Get your teeth cleaned at least 2 times per year by a hygienist.
· Regular dental checkups
Take care of your gums and oral health and it will take care of you!
Remember to take care of yourself and…. Live Healthy!