Oral health can affect your overall health. More research will be needed in order to determine a clear cause and effect relationship between periodontal (gum) disease and overall health, but it has been shown that the health of the mouth has a significant role in the health of other areas of the body.
Periodontal disease is characterized by gums that are inflamed, red, and bleeding. More than 50% of adults in the United States suffer from gum disease on some level.
A recent study has found a link between gum disease and obesity. Gum disease has also been connected to insulin resistance. Overall, the study found that obese patients suffer from gum disease at a higher rate than average patients.
Gum disease can be avoided or controlled by ensuring that oral health is protected. This is done with a diligent brushing and flossing routine as recommended: brushing twice daily and flossing every day without skipping days. This routine prevents bacteria from being able to breed as quickly; missing even a few daily brushing or flossing sessions can irritate gum tissue.
Another important part of taking care of oral health is keeping regular dental appointments. It is recommended that adults and children get a professional teeth cleaning twice a year since brushing and flossing at home is not enough to keep teeth clean of plaque. Even the most meticulous home care can leave traces of the substance in hard-to-reach places, which can harden into tartar and harm the gums. Hygienists are trained to use precision instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth to leave them feeling fresh. Cleanings also give the gums a chance to tighten and heal. Healthy gums should be light pink and should not hurt or bleed after brushing or flossing.
Periodontal disease is also linked to: