People tend to think of periodontal (gum) disease in terms of their teeth, but many don’t realize that gum disease is a serious infection that canrelease harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. The end result can mean additional health risks for people whose health is already affected by other diseases, or lead to serious complications like heart disease. Recent research has shown that periodontal infection far from being just an oral health problem, may contribute to the development of heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases and premature, underweight births.
Stress can also affect periodontal disease making the infection more severe and harder to fight.
To see if you or someone in your family might be at risk for periodontal diseases, take the following quiz:
- Do your gums bleed during brushing?
- Are your gums red or swollen?
- Have your gums pulled away from your teeth?
- Do you have persistent bad breath?
- Are your teeth loose and separating?
- Do you have missing teeth?
- Are some of your teeth too long, or too short?
- Do you smoke or chew tobacco?
- Are you under unusual stress?
- Did your mother or father lose their teeth?
If you have any of these conditions or notice any of these symptoms, you should see a dentist without delay. If you don’t know the state of your periodontal health, you should ask the dentist for an evaluation. There are often no symptoms of gum disease in it’s early stages, so people need to make sure their dentist checks their gums regularly.
Many Canadians have oral exams each year to check for cavities and tooth decay. Emerging research shows it’s equally important to have a periodontal screening and evaluation which can help protect a person’s overall health.
Yours for better dental health,
Photo by Verity Cridland