The implications of poor gum health stretch well beyond the mouth. If you are unaware that gum disease may increase your risk of stroke or diabetes then you are not alone: it seems that five out of six people are oblivious to this link. More people are aware of an increased risk of heart disease but not quite enough for the UK population as a whole to take the dangers of gum disease really seriously. It has even been linked with rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and poor pregnancy outcomes.
How does gum disease endanger the rest of my body?
Most people can accept that the gums are crucial to dental health as they recognise their role in supporting the teeth. When plaque is allowed to build up, bacteria aggravate the surrounding gum and can cause an infection – gum disease – and this can compromise the health and stability of the tooth. In some people, however, the body over-reacts to the bacteria and the gums become intensely inflamed. It is this inflammation that can affect the bloodstream, steadily and over time damaging the blood vessels of the brain and heart.
What can I do to prevent gum disease?
When patients visit our specialist dental practice in central London with concerns about their gums, they see our periodontist Dr Hiten Halai for treatment and advice. An effective and fastidious oral health routine will reduce the risk: brushing teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing, too. If you are smoker, quit: smoking is wholly detrimental to your gums. Attend check-ups regularly; at specialist dental practice 76 Harley Street, we can offer our London patients the convenience of hygienists, gum experts and prosthodontists all under one roof. Finally, it is thought that getting out into the sunshine and soaking up some vitamin D can give your gums’ health a welcome boost.