Here at Really Smile, we believe that everything is connected in one way or another. This is especially true in your body. If you think about it (or study it), you’ll find that your systems are all connected. When one system suffers, they all suffer.
It should be no surprise, then, to find out that when your oral health is less than par, your overall systemic health will suffer as well. In the case of gum disease, your systemic health can suffer life-threatening changes.
Our office in Carmel, IN, is doing what we can to help our patients work towards a healthier lifestyle. We begin with oral health. There has been a lot of research done lately to learn more about the relationships between gum disease and various life-altering conditions. Scientists are still trying to define the actual relationship, but we know that gum health plays an important role in the health of the rest of your body.
The Prevalence of Gum Disease
Gum disease is particularly frightening because it is so incredibly prevalent! New research from the CDC shows that almost HALF of adults over the age of 35 have gum disease. That’s an incredible statistic, especially when you consider the impact that gum disease can have on your overall health.
Unlikely Health Connections
Scientists are still drawing connections between gum disease and the following conditions, but one thing is clear: gum disease is related to these problems!
Cancer – Gum disease has been linked to several forms of cancer, but pancreatic cancer is especially interesting. A recent study claimed that men who had gum disease were 64% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
Heart Disease – Bacteria associated with gum disease has been known to enter the bloodstream and cause clots to form. The bacteria sticks to blood platelets and then moves through the body. Once the clot reaches the chest, it is easy for it to cause heart disease.
Alzheimer’s Disease – Bacteria associated with gum disease has been discovered in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, which leads scientists to believe that there could be a connection.
Diabetes – Gum disease makes it very difficult to control your diabetes, and diabetes makes it difficult for the body to fight off gum disease infections. These two conditions spiral into quite a difficult situation for you!
Our Healthy Heart Program
As a way of better caring for our patients, we have begun a Healthy Heart program that allows us to help you have great oral and overall health. The Healthy Heart program has many different pieces working for you, but it begins with an evaluation of your mouth, which we can share with your general practitioner, if you wish. This report will let us know the state of your gum health and how it might be affected your overall health.
Once we have this information, we can work to improve your oral health so that your overall health will also improve! Let’s take a look at some simple ways that you can help prevent gum disease. They probably won’t be a big surprise!
Great Oral Care – Healthy gums begin at home. Take care of your gums with routine flossing and brushing. If you have struggled with gum disease in the past, we might recommend a mouthrinse that will help you maintain healthy gums.
Routine Visits – Coming into the office for routine cleanings and exams is very important, especially if you are prone to gum disease infection. Depending on your gum health, we might ask you to come in more often than the traditional 6 month visit so that we can stay on top of your gum health.
Treating Issues Quickly – At the first sign of trouble, we need to act. Most of the detrimental health concerns occur in connection with advanced gum disease. If we can keep your infection to a mild case, you are more likely to enjoy a healthy body.
Get Your Healthy Heart Today
It’s time to start thinking about your overall health and how it relates to your oral health. If brushing and flossing twice each day can prevent you from having cancer, heart disease, or another serious health concern, isn’t it worth it? Contact us today to learn more about how the body is affected by bacteria in your mouth. Set up your next appointment so we can make sure your gums stay healthy and strong!