Gum Disease: Bacteria and How it Can Affect Your Body - Holladay Family Dental
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Gum Disease: Bacteria and How it Can Affect Your Body

Gum Disease: Bacteria and How it Can Affect Your Body


From an early age, kids are taught the importance of brushing their teeth. They are taken to the dentist for regular checkups. It is something that parents stress for a long time.

Something happens when the kids become adults. They forget the lessons they are taught as a child. Brushing the teeth becomes something that is forgotten on a regular basis. A trip to the dentist is never convenient and years can pass between checkups of regular cleanings. The result for many adults is gum disease. If people knew what can arise when a person develops gum disease, they may be less likely to forget the lessons of childhood and they would take better care of their teeth.

The Consequences of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a result of bacteria that lives in the plaque that builds up on teeth. The bacteria cause an infection that when left untreated, can spread to other areas of the body and can cause serious problems. The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding gums – the bleeding can occur on its own or it may happen when a person brushes their teeth. Anytime the gums are bleeding is not normal and a person should have this checked by a dental professional in Salt Lake City.
  • Redness and swelling – if the gums are unnaturally red, or if they are swelling a problem may exist.
  • Receding gum lines – This can occur as a person ages, but it is also a sign of gum disease.

Gum disease can cause the teeth to decay or become damaged. A person may lose their teeth as a result of gum disease. The damage is not limited to what can happen with the teeth. If the bacteria enters the bloodstream it can spread to other parts of the body. Some of the other physical problems caused by gum disease include:

  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Osteopenia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease

Dealing with gum disease does not guarantee a person will suffer from these conditions, but it does increase the risk.

Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene

Preventing gum disease and all of the consequences of it can be done if a person learns the steps of good oral hygiene. These steps include:

  • Regular brushing – at least twice a day with an ADA approved toothpaste and toothbrush.
  • Flossing – Flossing should be done at least once a day. A dentist or dental hygienist can show the proper techniques for brushing and flossing.
  • Professional cleanings – Professional cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist in Salt Lake City should be done twice a year.
  • Professional checkups – A person should see the dentist for checkups at least once a year or anytime they notice the symptoms of gum disease.

When a person takes good care of their teeth and gum the risks of gum disease are substantially reduced. They will also have fewer problems with their teeth and less chance of any pain in their teeth and gums. They will also have a brighter smile and better breath as a result of their good oral hygiene habits. It is something that is learned in childhood and that should be reinforced as an adult whenever possible.

Preventing and Treating Gum Disease is one of the services we offer at Holladay Family Dental. Learn more about Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease on our Preventative Dentistry page. Residents of Holladay, Utah and Salt Lake City, Utah can feel confident coming to Dr. Greaves for a wide variety of general dentistry services. Call Kerri or Angela at 801-272-8051 for more information or to schedule an appointment or a consult.