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Oral Health: Don’t Brush it Aside

toothbrushimageHow much is your oral health linked to your overall health? It turns out, quite a lot. Read on to learn how important it is to maintain proper oral health in order to lessen the risks of other serious diseases. Thanks for visiting Castle Rock Endodontics.

What motivates you to visit the dentist: A sore molar? Time for a cleaning? A crush on the hygienist? These are all (or nearly all) sound reasons for keeping your semi-annual appointment. But there’s a significant link between your smile and your overall health that has recently come to light.

Dental experts and medical physicians are learning to recognize striking correlations between oral hygiene and serious diseases, providing all new incentives to take excellent care of your teeth and gums.

Try a little tenderness

Unless you floss every day—and only 10 percent of the population does, according to the American Dental Association (ADA)—chances are good that your gums swell and bleed during a dental cleaning. A little inflammation and tenderness is normal and can be brought under control.

“If your gum is tender, it’s because you have inflammation caused by bacterial plaque,” explains Dr. Kimberly Harms, consumer adviser for the ADA. “There are toxins in the bacteria that are sitting between your tooth and gum. That bacteria is already at work in those little pockets if your gums are bleeding.”

About 70 percent of adults over 35 have some form of gum disease. Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is reversible; floss regularly and your gums will regain resilience and a health pink hue. However, unhealthy gums that remain sensitive and inflamed can lead to far more trouble than a little discomfort in the dentist’s chair. When moderate to severe inflammation sustains for a period of time, the bone that holds your teeth in place begins to decay.

“Once you have bone loss, that’s not reversible. You can’t bring that bone back,” says Dr. Harms.

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