More often than not, healthy gums make for a healthy smile. I grew up in a dental family, with my dad inspiring me to follow in his footsteps and start my own practice, and in that time, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a patient for whom that wasn’t true.
Generally speaking, if your gums are in good shape, then it’s likely that the rest of your smile isn’t too shabby, either. In some ways, you can think of your gums as a kind of “canary in the coalmine” for the overall health of your smile.
But looks can be deceiving. Even gum disease – which in its advanced stages is extremely hard to ignore – can begin without any major or minor symptoms. You could going merrily along your way completely oblivious to the slowly but surely growing bacterial colony in your gums.
So there’s an important distinction to make between a smile that merely looks healthy, and a smile that is truly healthy.
I want you to pick the latter type of smile when it comes to the health and the appearance of your gums, because anything less and you could be facing serious health consequences.
The Scary Truth
I won’t belabor the point anymore, so here it is: If you fail to take care of your gums, then it is just a matter of time before periodontitis – also known as gum disease – takes hold.
Once that happens, your only options are to either see your Eugene dentist and get a nonsurgical treatment, or allow that gum disease to advance even further, ruining your smile and potentially causing more serious illnesses to develop.
What kind of illnesses? A growing body of scientific evidence has linked advanced periodontitis to everything from Alzheimer’s disease and stroke to heart disease, diabetes, and more.
As you can see, gum disease keeps pretty villainous company when it digs its in heels into your smile – literally: The bacteria which fuels gum disease are actually shaped like microscopic corkscrews, and long before they contribute to a condition like heart disease, they will ravage your gums and leave your teeth weak and highly vulnerable to decay.
But there is one disease which I want to talk to you today as part of our continuing coverage of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and I’m sure you can guess what it might be.
The Cancer Connection
Doctors are conducting more and more research which suggests a link between advanced gum disease and a variety of different cancers, including oral cancer.
A recent study of over 48,000 American men found that those with a history of periodontitis were at a 14 percent higher risk for a cancer diagnosis. Breaking the numbers down by percentages, the study also found that men who suffered from gum disease were also more likely to develop the following cancers:
As you can see, these are scary odds to play with, but that’s exactly what you’re doing if you’re allowing an easily treatable case of gum disease get wildly out of control.
A Nonsurgical Periodontal Disease Treatment
You can pretty much keep your mouth completely free from gum disease if you maintain good oral hygiene. That includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist in Oregon twice a year.
Yet once gum disease has progressed to its moderate and advanced stages, no toothbrush or dental floss known to mankind can effectively reach beneath the gum line and thoroughly eradicate the bacterial colonies living in their periodontal burrows.
That’s where I come in. By using a special treatment known as scaling and root planing, I use pressurized water to clean and flush out the bacteria from your gums without the need for oral surgery. Your mouth will be much cleaners, and after a brief recovery period, you can begin to think about cosmetic dentistry enhancements to build upon a new foundation of good oral health.
Because with clean, healthy gums, you won’t have to worry about gum disease or cancer from posing such a risk to your overall health.
Of course, the only way to be sure you are entirely free from either of those diseases is to see your Eugene dentist on a regular basis.
To reclaim your oral health, give me a call at 458-205-5189, or you may request an appointment online by filling out this online questionnaire.
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