As we age, our bodies undergo various changes. Our teeth and gums are no exception. Two prevalent dental issues among most adults are gum recession and tooth decay. Gum recession is a dental condition where the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away,, exposing more of the tooth or the tooth's root. On the other hand, tooth decay, is the destruction of your tooth enamel.
These conditions are not only common but also interconnected. Gum recession often leads to tooth decay because it exposes the parts of your teeth that are not protected by enamel. These exposed areas are prone to plaque build-up, which can lead to cavities. Similarly, untreated tooth decay can cause the gums to recede. The decay can spread to the roots of the teeth, which can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth.
The implications of these conditions go beyond your oral health. Gum recession and tooth decay can impact your overall health, leading to more serious health conditions.
The link between oral health conditions like gum recession, tooth decay and heart disease lies in the bacteria. The same bacteria that cause gum recession and tooth decay can enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart.
Once in the heart, these bacteria can cause inflammation and lead to conditions like endocarditis, an infection of the heart's inner lining. They can also contribute to artery disease, where plaques develop in the arteries, hindering blood flow.
Gum recession and tooth decay are also linked to several systemic diseases. Diabetes, for instance, impairs the body's ability to utilize sugar. Periodontal disease is often found in diabetics, and gum recession and tooth decay are common complications of diabetes.
Prevention is always better than cure. This holds true for oral health as well. Regular brushing and flossing, a healthy diet, and regular dental check-ups can go a long way in preventing gum recession and tooth decay.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss daily. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush and avoid aggressive brushing, as it can lead to gum recession. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low in sugar can help prevent tooth decay.
Additionally, avoid smoking or using tobacco products. They can contribute to gum disease and oral cancer. Stay hydrated, as a dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay.
Regular dental check-ups are crucial in preventing and detecting early signs of gum recession, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. Dentists can remove the plaque and tartar that brushing and flossing at home can miss, preventing decay and gum disease.
They can also identify early signs of problems and provide treatment to prevent further damage. For instance, if they notice signs of gum recession or early stages of tooth decay, they can provide immediate treatment and advice on improving your oral hygiene routine.
Gum recession and tooth decay are closely linked and can have serious implications on our overall health, including heart disease and systemic diseases. Understanding this link is crucial in maintaining good oral and overall health. Preventive measures, including a healthy diet, good oral hygiene, and regular dental check-ups, can help maintain healthy teeth and gums and prevent these conditions. It's not just about your oral health; it's about your overall health as well.
If your are experiencing signs of gum recession or tooth decay, visit Palm Beach Center for Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at our office in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Our goal is to help you achieve the best results in a safe, stress-free manner using the least invasive method possible. Please call (561) 621-3111 to book an appointment today.