Would you believe that gum disease is a problem that affects nearly half of American adults in some form? It's true! Worse yet, many of those impacted folks don't even realize they have gum disease because it's not very easy to detect without the help of your Fairfax dentist. Here's what you should know.
What Is Gum Disease?
Also called periodontal disease, gum disease is best described as an infection of the gums and bone that support your teeth. Unfortunately, when your gums and bone are not healthy, your teeth are at risk, which is why gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
The infection starts when you don't remove plaque and bacteria daily. The plaque begins to irritate your gums, causing them to become red and swollen. The bacteria eventually separates the gums from the teeth and descends below the gum line, where it causes an infection in your bone.
The good news is that gum disease is easily preventable with regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist and an excellent home care routine.
How Gum Disease Impacts Your Overall Health
Over the years, science has shown us that there is a close relation between gum disease and other non-dental health concerns, such as:
- Heart Disease
- Low Birth Weight in Babies
- High Blood Pressure
The reason that there is a connection is that the bacteria causing gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, contributing to the inflammation that is causing other health problems and vice versa.
Your Best Defense Against Gum Disease
Your six-month cleanings and checkups with your dentist are the best way you can avoid gum disease in Fairfax, VA. Your dentist can detect the problem early on, which allows you to treat it more effectively with less invasive procedures. Give Dr. Fairfax a call today if it's time for your next dental appointment.