Your smile can be your greatest asset. It lets others know that you are friendly, open, and approachable. However, many are concerned with the appearance of their teeth. Also, underlying health issues could be made worse when proper care of the gums falls by the wayside. Read on and find out how the health of your gums can affect your cardiovascular health too.
How Gum Disease Begins
It's all about the way bacteria ravages your dental health. Bacteria, always present in your mouth, can multiply after food debris remains too long. While bacteria can enter your gums via a sore or cut, it mostly makes its way through your teeth. Cavities, lost fillings, and cracked teeth are open invitations to bacteria. Bacteria can persist between your teeth and can even attack your gums at the gum line. Age, lack of dental hygiene, and more can make your gums recede and that provides bacteria with another way to get to your gums.
Inflammation is not just an infection. It's an infection that has gone rogue. Diseased gums can create a huge problem for those vulnerable to inflammation. Older adults and those with immune response issues may be more vulnerable to inflammation. However, almost anyone with gum disease can find that the inflammation doesn't remain in your gums for long. Instead, it can travel to other body areas and cause problems there.
Inflammation is naturally attracted to plaque. Not the type of plaque that can occur on your teeth but the type that can clog your arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes. When that happens, the artery can become blocked and that is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate cardiovascular intervention.
Doctors can detect dangerous inflammation using a blood test known as C-reactive protein. Other common markers present in the body can cause higher than normal levels of certain proteins as well. However, the presence of elevated inflammatory markers may not be a definitive test since many medical conditions can cause spikes in bloodwork.
What to Do
You can do a lot to prevent inflammatory responses due to gum disease by preventing gum disease in the first place. Remove bacteria from your teeth and mouth immediately after eating and before going to bed. Brush and floss and then rinse to keep things clean between your regular dental visits. To learn more about preventing gum disease that places your cardiovascular health at risk, speak to your dentist.