Did you know that gingivitis will prevent the body’s immune system from fighting against it? This unfortunate effect of gingivitis occurs because the disease triggers the body to produce IL-10, an anti-inflammatory molecule. Since gingivitis inflames the gums, it would seem that an anti-inflammatory molecule would be a good thing to produce. However, these molecules interfere with the body’s T-cells, preventing them from attacking gingivitis at its source, namely the bacteria that cause it. Thus, your Ankeny IA dentist, Dr. Erika Peddicord, encourages her patients to take preventive action against gum disease, as lingering gingivitis may progress into periodontitis, a damaging form of gum disease that attacks ligaments and tissues that support teeth.
Symptoms and Dangers of Gum Disease
When periodontitis develops, tooth loss is a potential result. As vital teeth-supporting structures decay, teeth will loosen, causing them to shift and eventually to fall out. In addition, gum disease also increases patients’ risks of developing heart disease. The link between the two diseases is becoming clearer all the time, with recent research revealing that the same bacteria are present in both diseases. Thus gum disease poses a threat to your overall health as well as your oral health.
However, recognizing gum disease can be tricky. In fact, many people live with gum disease without realizing it. Therefore, you should attend dental checkups regularly to allow your Ankeny IA dentist, Dr. Peddicord to examine your mouth for any oral health problems. In addition, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Bleeding gums
- Red gums
- Swollen, tender, or puffy gums
- Lingering bad breath
- The formation of pockets between teeth and gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
Preventing Gum Disease
When it comes down to it, gum disease prevention is very similar to cavity prevention as both cavities and gum disease are the result of harmful oral bacteria. Thus, your goal in preventive care is to keep these bacteria from lingering on your teeth. Thus, you should brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss at least once. When you brush your teeth, be sure to angle the bristles of your tooth brush toward your gum line to remove plaque from this important area. Also, make sure you attend dental cleanings every six months so that a hygienist can remove stubborn tartar from your teeth.
About Peddicord Family Dentistry: Dr. Erika Peddicord of Peddicord Family Dentistry received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. Her enthusiasm for building lasting relationships with her patients and her dedication to oral health set her apart as an outstanding family dentist. Patients can schedule an appointment with Dr. Peddicord by calling (515) 963-3339.