Your oral health is connected to many other health conditions beyond your mouth. Sometimes the first sign of a disease shows up in your mouth. In other cases, infections in your mouth, such as gum disease, can cause problems in other areas of your body. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums, and the byproducts of oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream. When oral bacteria escapes into the bloodstream it increases inflammation throughout the body and can injure major organs. Chronic inflammation is recognized as a significant factor in aging and disease. Research links inflammatory periodontal diseases to systemic conditions.
Over 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gingivitis or gum disease.
Inflammation from periodontal disease is associated with a number of serious health problems including:
• Heart disease
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Premature birth
Do you notice any of these signs of gum disease – bleeding gums (even when you brush); red, swollen or tender gums; loose teeth; persistent bad breath; or receding gums? Sometimes there are NO obvious signs of gum disease.
Dental plaque is a sticky film with bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth and gums. When plaque isn’t removed by daily brushing/flossing and routine dental hygiene cleanings, it not only causes tooth decay, but also leads to gum or periodontal disease. Gum disease ranges from simple gum inflammation, called gingivitis, to a more serious disease, called periodontitis, that causes gum tissue to pull away from the teeth and form pockets that are infected. Periodontitis can result in damage to the underlying bone supporting the teeth. The American Dental Association recommends prevention by proper diet, brushing, flossing and dental visits. If you have symptoms of gum disease, please call our Millersville Dental Office at 410-987-8800 or Greenbelt Office at 301-474-4144 to schedule an appointment!
Drs. Clayton, Jay and David McCarl of McCarl Dental Group, www.mccarldental.com, are third-generation dentists with two dental offices in Greenbelt, Maryland and Shipley’s Choice Medical Park in Millersville adjacent to Severna Park fifteen minutes from Annapolis. They are graduates of the University of Maryland Dental School and participate regularly in continuing education programs. Drs. McCarl are listed in America’s Top Dentists selected by the Consumers Research Council of America, Top Dentists as voted by Dental Specialists and Best Dentist in the Capital Reader’s Choice 2010 Poll.
For more information on the latest news in dentistry or the McCarl Dental Group, visit www.McCarlDental.com.