Gum Disease Affects More Than Just Your Mouth

Your Gums Are Important

Let’s take a moment to pay tribute to one of the most overworked and often under appreciated parts of the hum body: our gums. You hear how important it is to brush, and how having healthy teeth is an important goal for all of us. With all this talk about teeth and bones, sometimes we forget about humble gums, whose sole job is to hold our teeth firmly in place, protect them from the elements, and keep our entire mouth nourished and healthy. In short, we need healthy gums in order to have healthy teeth, and healthy body, too. We know that gums are often under-valued because more than 47% of adults living in the United States have some form of gum disease.

What Is Gum (Periodontal) Disease?

Gum disease is caused by two things. 1) the presence of bacteria in the mouth 2) place for that bacteria to congregate and stay. Most often, bacteria collect on buildup (calculus) around and below the gum line. This buildup causes inflammation and irritation, triggering an immune response by the body. The mildest form of gum (periodontal) disease is called gingivitis. Left unchecked, the condition can create periodontal “pockets” or areas where the bacteria can collect deeper under the gum line. Gingivitis can progress to periodontists, where the bacteria, inflammation and the body’s continual response can actually break down the connection between the gums and the teeth.

 

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