Annapolis Maryland Dentist Blog Avoiding Periodontal Disease
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Unless you floss every day-and only 10% of the population does, according to the American Dental Association-chances are good that your gums swell and bleed during dental cleaning. A little inflammation and tenderness can be brought under control. The bacteria that cause inflammation produce toxins that sit between your tooth and gum. About 70% of adults over 35 have some form of gum disease. If it’s just inflammation or gingivitis, then good oral hygiene including flossing will make your gums regain resilience and a healthy pink hue. However, if gums remain sensitive and inflamed, then the bone that holds your teeth in place, begins to decay. This process is irreversible. Growing evidence proves that this chronic gum inflammation is associated with life-threatening inflammations deeper in the body. When the gums become so inflamed they become permeable and the micro-cuts in the gum lining (just like tiny cuts in your finger) serve as a port of entry for bacteria into the bloodstream. These bacteria attack walls of arteries and when our immune system dispatches it’s cellular soldiers to heal these “nicks”, there’s a cascade of inflammation that leads to clot formations and plaque buildup in the arteries. Research shows that plaque from gum disease (aka periodontal disease) is the same plaque that builds up on carotid artery. Now you’re at risk for heart disease and if the plaque dislodges, now you’re at risk for a stroke!

So a healthy lifestyle contributes to a healthy mouth and it begins with nutrition. High protein meats and sugars create an acidic environment which promote the damaging bacteria to thrive. Adding more fruits and vegetables, which are alkaline, balances the pH and gives the gums a fighting chance against bacterial invaders. Also brush three times a day and floss.

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