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Feb 2018
1st
 

Gum disease and the link to systemic disease

Relationship between gum disease and systemic diseases

Extraordinary progress is being made in understanding the close relationship between gum disease and general health. There is increasing evidence showing that oral health conditions such as gingivitis and periodontal disease negatively affects systemic health and increases the risk of diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, pulmonary disease and may also cause complications in pregnancy. Over recent years it has become clear that oral infections are a significant risk factor in systemic diseases. Periodontitis, one of the most common oral health diseases, despite being preventable was once thought to be an inevitable consequence of aging. The cause of this inflammatory oral condition is the bacteria found in dental plaque, a complex microbial biofilm, which adheres to the tooth and the gums. If dental plaque is not removed through regular and adequate toothbrushing and flossing, oral microorganisms can invade blood vessels spreading across, lowering the immune system and causing infections in other parts of the body. Dental plaque is an important reservoir of harmful microorganisms, hence the importance of preventing and treating gum diseases is paramount. This can be achieved by maintaining good oral hygiene, regular visits to the dentist and a routine hygiene treatment. Also, recognising that oral health and general health are intimately related is essential in order to understand how to control and manage oral disease and to prevent these systemic conditions. Your mouth is connected to the rest of the body and acts as a mirror of your body in terms of its condition. Contact your dentist if you are concerned about your gums or book an appointment with our hygienist who would be able to help you to diagnose and treat any gum disease and provide your with tailored and holistic oral hygiene advice.

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