Taking good care of your mouth does more than help ensure you have a bright, white smile. Having a healthy mouth and a healthy body go hand-in-hand! We welcome patients to discover the connections between problems like gum disease and their physical health. Dr. Ancy Verdier, Dr. Jennifer Chang Sullivan, and Dr. Mariam Khan offer periodontal services in Concord and Lexington, MA to help patients improve their gum health.
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body
Gum disease and certain medical problems are connected. Recent studies have linked good oral hygiene with good overall health.
Pancreatic Cancer and Heart Disease
A healthy mouth can reduce your risk for many serious diseases, including heart disease and pancreatic cancer. The inflammation caused by gingivitis and periodontal disease has been linked to these diseases. Bacteria that thrive in the mouth can travel to other parts of the body and can cause infection or worsen existing infections in many areas, including the lungs and joints.
Keeping your gums healthy prevents gingivitis and periodontal disease and can also help improve your memory, according to the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. In a study by the journal, adults who had gingivitis performed worse than those who didn’t on memory and cognitive skills tests. They were more likely to perform poorly on tests of delayed verbal recall and subtraction–two skills we use every day!
Diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, which includes infections of the gums. Some experts have linked uncontrolled diabetes with gum disease, suggesting that untreated periodontal disease may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Having a healthy mouth will help you protect your overall health by making it easier to control your diabetes.
Pre-term Delivery and Low Birth Weight Babies
Some research suggests a link between gingivitis and pre-term, low birth weight infants. With 1 in 8 babies born prematurely, prevention is the key! Maintaining good oral health may help prevent premature delivery. See your dentist as part of your prenatal care. He or she will give you good tips and insight into oral health and a healthy pregnancy.
A Healthy Mouth, A Healthy Body in Childhood
It’s never too early to start teaching your children to take care of their teeth and gums–healthy habits learned in childhood can pay off in adulthood. If you’re tempted to shrug off your good oral hygiene habits–brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly — remember that you’re a role model for your kids!
As you can see, the phrase “healthy mouth, healthy you” is true and backed by growing scientific evidence!
Reversing Gum Disease
Periodontal maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent periodontal disease in the gum tissue and bone. Periodontal maintenance is usually necessary for patients susceptible to periodontal disease or who have been treated for gum disease. Maintenance visits to the periodontist will help prevent additional future dental problems. Treating the disease in its early stages saves you discomfort and money!
Why is periodontal maintenance necessary?
Gum disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. The toxins produced by the bacteria attack your gums and teeth. And, if the plaque is not removed, it will harden and form calculus.
Even someone dedicated to good oral hygiene cannot completely prevent the formation of calculus on the teeth. Flossing and brushing will keep the calculus to a minimum, but regular maintenance is needed to remove what has been missed. The hygienist will also check for hidden periodontal problems during your maintenance cleaning.
How often do I need a maintenance visit?
Your periodontist will recommend how often you should have a periodontal maintenance visit. The frequency will be determined by the type of periodontal disease you have, the type of periodontal treatment you have had in the past, how you’ve responded to those treatments, and how quickly you develop plaque. The most important factor, however, is how dedicated you are to good hygiene at home.
Scaling and Root Planing
If plaque and tartar are left on the teeth, as we mentioned before, it provides the right conditions for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria irritate the gums, which can cause them to bleed more easily. You may notice this when brushing your teeth or eating. This is the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis.
If you have gingivitis, your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth by scaling and polishing them. They may also recommend an antiseptic mouthwash containing chlorhexidine and show you how to brush and floss your teeth effectively. Most adults have some degree of gum disease.
Periodontal Treatment in Lexington, MA
Contact Our Dental Offices
Maintain your smile with regular dental care to help prevent problems like gum disease. You can also receive periodontal care in our offices. Contact our Concord dental office today at 978.391.6081. You may also call our Lexington office at 781.384.5892.