Connecting The Dots of Gum Disease
We all know the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone, and the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone – but the chain of command for your oral health can be a little less clear.
Well, plaque is connected to your teeth and daily brushing is key to plaque removal. What’s connected to plaque that isn’t removed? That would be tartar. Plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which makes a permanent home out of your teeth and gums. Only a professional can remove tartar – brushing alone cannot. Untreated tartar can wreck havoc on your oral health, and it isn’t always plain to see. This is what we call gum disease, or periodontitis. Signs you can look for include: swelling and/or redness of the gums (healthy gums should be tight and pink), as well as easy bleeding while brushing or flossing. Left untreated, the problem will worsen as your gums recede, creating pockets for more build-up to nest inside. The chain continues: the build-up’s connected to the infection of gums, and the infection of the gums is connected to the destruction of the bone structure and then removal of your teeth.
Yikes, the periodontitis song isn’t half as fun as the original.
As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – but what if you’re still seeing signs of periodontitis and you take excellent preventative care of your teeth? The answer may be in your medicine cabinet.
Dental Dangers in your Medicine Cabinet
Yes indeed. Some medications are known to reduce natural saliva production, and saliva prevents plaque from accumulating. A few medicines can even cause abnormal gum tissue growth.
Saliva Reduction: Over 400 medications are known to affect saliva production. This list includes common medications like asthma inhalers and anti-anxiety medications. Nobody but your doctor or pharmacist can tell you which medications may have certain side effects, so always ask questions when receiving a new prescription.
Abnormal gum tissue growth: This type of gum disease is sometimes called “drug induced gingival enlargement” (DIGO), and can be contributed to by medications intended to help other conditions, like seizures. While these prescriptions may be incredibly important, work with your doctor to find one that agrees with your personal medical needs without causing gum disease.
You don’t have to live with painful, unhealthy teeth
If you take excellent care of your teeth and any of these symptoms or other dental discomfort applies to you: talk to your dentist, talk to your doctor, but don’t let your oral discomfort spiral out of control.
The jawbone should only be connected to a healthy smile.
Coastal Connecticut Dentistry
112 Cross Road
Waterford, CT 06385