It may seem farfetched, but your mouth can be considered the window to the health of your body. Certain chronic diseases can increase your risk of gum disease such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or emphysema. Additionally, certain lifestyle choices like smoking can seriously increase your risk of gum disease or other oral health conditions. Let’s take a closer look at how a healthy mouth and healthy body work together.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque, also known as the sticky coating that is always on your teeth. When the body reacts to the bacteria present, the gums become inflamed as a warning sign, before the damage spreads to the tissues and bones that support your teeth. The inflammation of the gums is known as gingivitis, which can be treated by a professional cleaning if it is caught early enough. However, if gingivitis is not caught and treated early, it can turn into periodontitis which is when the body responds to the bacteria by breaking down the gum tissues around the teeth.

Warning Signs of Gum Disease

Although you may not experience any warning signs, some of the most common are gums that are swollen, red, puffy, or tender, and tend to bleed when you brush or floss. Other warning signs include bad breath that doesn’t go away, pus between teeth and gums, feeling that your teeth are loose, and a change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together.

Tips to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

– Brush at least 2 times a day with a fluoride toothpaste
– Clean between your teeth with floss or another between-the-teeth dental brush cleaner daily
– Choose oral health products that display the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance
– Visit your dentist regularly, and be sure to tell your dentist about any changes in your overall health

If you have experienced any of the gum disease warning signs, or are ready for your dental check-up, call us at Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts to schedule an appointment with Dr. Zola Makrauer or Dr. Julie Miller and our hygienist, Beth.