Oral Health Education
The Mouth & Body Connection
There is mounting evidence of a strong link between the health of your gums and your overall health. Infections in your mouth can cause problems elsewhere in your body. Periodontal bacteria can enter your bloodstream and travel to major organs and begin new infections.
Research suggests this may:
- contribute to the development of heart disease, the nation’s leading cause of death
- increase the risk of stroke
- increase a woman’s risk of having a pre-term or low-weight baby
- pose a serious threat to people whose health is compromised by diabetes, respiratory diseases, or osteoporosis.
When you eliminate gum disease, you lower your risk for heart disease and other health problems. Be sure to brush and floss daily and have a dental check up at least every six months. If you have weakened gum tissue or gum disease, Dr. Spektor will help your dentist evaluate your periodontal health and recommend treatment as needed.
Don’t leave gum disease untreated. It’s more important than you think.
Tobacco Use and Periodontal Disease
We all know tobacco poses serious health risks. Did you know tobacco use is also harmful to your oral health? Tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of gum disease and bone loss. Following gum treatment and any other type of oral surgery, the chemicals in tobacco can slow the healing process and make the results less predictable.
As a smoker you are more likely to have:
- increased calculus – the hardened plaque that forms on your teeth and can only be removed professionally
- deep pockets between your teeth
- loss of bone and supporting tissue
You are also twice more likely to lose teeth as a non-smoker.
Research shows that current smokers do not heal as well after periodontal treatment as former smokers or non-smokers. These effects are reversible if the smoker can kick the habit before beginning treatment. However, it is important to be aware that smokeless tobacco, cigar and pipe smoking are just as harmful to your periodontal health.
If you are a smoker and would like to switch to a tobacco-free lifestyle, visit the American Cancer Society website. For more information, or to find an ACS Quitline or other support, read the Guide for Quitting Smoking now.