In recent years, doctors and researchers have discovered a mouth-body connection, which indicates links between gum disease and several medical conditions. Gum disease has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, premature birth and low birth-weight babies. Consult with your dentist if you have or are at risk for:
- heart disease or high blood pressure
- cancer, particularly pancreatic cancer
- are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
Just as genetics, exercise, nutrition, stress and personal habits contribute to an individual’s overall wellness, scientists are discovering more and more connections between the mouth and body
Symptoms of gum disease
If you see any of the following signs of gum disease, you should see your dentist immediately:
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.
- Red, swollen, or tender gums, or pus between your teeth and gums.
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away.
- Loose teeth.
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
Basics of Good Oral Hygiene
- Brush your teeth properly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Decay-causing bacteria linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing removes plaque and food particles between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.