Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common oral health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. While most individuals are aware of the importance of dental cleaning and hygiene in maintaining healthy teeth, they may not realize the unexpected dangers that gum disease can pose. In this informative blog post, we explore the potential risks associated with gum disease and emphasize the significance of regular dental cleaning and proper dental hygiene practices, including the convenience of weekend appointments.
Gum disease is common and unpleasant, but, according to a growing body of evidence, it could also play a role in a surprising range of seemingly unrelated health problems. Cleaning your teeth may be even more important than you thought. Plaque — a sticky substance that contains bacteria — builds up on teeth.
Gingivitis is the term used once the gums become swollen, sore, or infected due to build up. Gum disease can be treated or prevented by maintaining a good oral health regime. However, if it is left to develop, it can result in periodontitis, which weakens the supporting structures of the teeth.
Gum disease is widespread. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of adults in the United States have some degree of gum disease.
The mechanisms behind periodontal disease are relatively well-understood, and newer research shows that this health problem may play a role in the development of a number of other conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and respiratory disease. In this Spotlight, we will cover some of the surprising links between gum disease and disparate health issues.
Gums and the brain
Although spatially the gums are near the brain, one wouldn’t normally associate dental complaints with neurological conditions.
However, some studies have found a link between periodontal disease and tooth loss and cognitive function. One study looking at cognitive performance followed 597 men for up to 32 years. The authors conclude:
Risk of cognitive decline in older men increases as more teeth are lost. Periodontal disease and caries, major reasons for tooth loss, are also related to cognitive decline.
Researchers have also linked periodontal disease with an increased buildup of beta-amyloid in the brain — the neurological hallmark of Alzheimer’s.
Following on from that discovery, in a more recent study, researchers showed that P. gingivalis infection boosts the production of beta-amyloid in the brain.
Periodontal disease was associated with a small, but significant, increase in overall cancer risk.
In this study, the researchers paid particular attention to an enzyme produced by P. gingivalis called gingipain. They found that this protease was toxic to tau, another protein that plays a pivotal role in Alzheimer’s.
The way we view Alzheimer’s is slowly changing.
In the future, scientists hope that targeting gingipain enzymes might help stop neurodegeneration in some people with Alzheimer’s disease. They have already designed a gingipain inhibitor, which they are testing in humans.
Importance of Dental Cleaning and Hygiene
Regular dental cleaning and maintaining good dental hygiene are vital in preventing and managing gum disease. Dental cleaning, performed by a dental professional, removes plaque and tartar buildup. Regular brushing and flossing cannot remove this. It helps keep gums healthy and reduces the risk of gum disease and its associated dangers.
Dental Hygiene Practices for Preventing Gum Disease Implementing proper dental hygiene practices at home is crucial for preventing gum disease. This includes brushing teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. Additionally, it is essential to schedule regular dental check-ups to detect and address any signs of gum disease early on.
Weekend Appointments for Convenient Dental Care To accommodate busy schedules and ensure individuals can prioritize their oral health. This convenience allows patients to seek regular dental cleanings, preventive care, and necessary treatments without disrupting their weekday routines. By taking advantage of weekend appointments, individuals can maintain optimal dental hygiene, minimize the risks of gum disease, and protect their overall health.
Promoting dental hygiene and regular dental cleaning in Langley is crucial for preventing gum disease and potentially reducing the risk of related health problems. By prioritizing oral health and seeking professional dental care, individuals can take proactive steps towards maintaining