Gum Disease – More Than Just Gums

Your Mouth: A Picture of Health

Did you know that when a dentist looks at your mouth, they can tell a lot more than just how often you’re brushing? It’s true: your oral health is like a window into your lifestyle and habits. Dr. Hawkins and Dr. Neidert at Hawkins Family Dentistry should know. We’ve seen mouths from all over Midlothian in our office!

If you’re not taking care of the rest of your body, your gums will give it away. Hormones, sickness, stress, diet, smoking, prescription medicine, and more can all affect your gum health, and that goes both ways. If you don’t take care of your gums, the consequences will stretch beyond just your mouth. Unhealthy gums can lead to an unhealthy heart, diabetes, pregnancy complications, memory problems, tooth decay, and more.

Your mouth is naturally good at washing away and fighting germs. But without proper oral hygiene, those bacteria can lead to gum disease. When it comes to your oral health, it’s more than just pearly white teeth you want. Healthy gums play an important role in your overall health.  Healthy gums protect not only your teeth and jawbone; they also prevent infection from entering the rest of your body.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is the inflammation of your gums caused by a buildup of too much food, bacteria, or other substances. You’ll know your gums are not in tiptop shape if they show any of these signs:

  • Redness or discoloration
  • Pain or soreness
  • Bleeding during regular brushing or flossing
  • Gum lines pulling back from teeth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Tooth loss

None of these conditions are desirable and left untreated, they can lead to further damage. The longer these symptoms are left untreated, the more detrimental they can become to your dental health. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, 20-30% of Americans have gum disease that puts them at risk of losing teeth.

How Can I Have Better Oral Health?

Prevention is the best medicine. Brush at least twice and floss once a day, and visit your dentist twice a year. Proper oral hygiene is simple, but if you’re not taking care of your teeth and gums, you can do long-term damage to your overall health. If your gums are in need of some TLC, a professional cleaning should do the trick. But if gum disease gets out of control, you may need more extensive gum disease treatment.

Let the team at Hawkins Family Dentistry be your partners in health. Contact us today to take the first step toward a more vital tomorrow!


Sources

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/health-perils-of-gum-disease

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/plaque-on-teeth

http://advancedsmiledentalcare.com/what-are-gums-trying-to-tell/

Dr. Alex Hawkins is a general dentist and cosmetic dentist in Midlothian VA. Does your dentist guarantee their work… for life? Why not? At Hawkins Family Dentistry, we provide an unmatched written lifetime guarantee available to anyone.

Posted in Dental Health, Diabetes, Healthy Heart

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