Gum Disease & Your Overall Health

examining gums with mirrorYour dental care isn’t only about your teeth. Your gums also play a key role in not only the health of your mouth but also the health of your body. At our dental office in Georgetown, we care for your entire mouth and are always on the lookout for gum disease. Gum disease is a serious infection that can lead to concerns with your overall health and, of course, your oral health.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection within the gum tissue. You may have heard gum disease referred to as periodontal disease, gingivitis, or periodontitis. While these are all gum disease, they do not all mean the same thing.

  • Periodontal disease – Periodontal disease is the technical name for gum disease. While there are different stages of gum disease, the term periodontal disease essentially refers to gum disease in general.   
  • Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the term used for early-stage periodontal disease. During this time, you may not be able to recognize the symptoms. In that case, your gum disease may go untreated and get progressively worse. If that happens, your gums are harder to treat, and your teeth and overall health can be at serious risk.
  • Periodontitis – Periodontitis is used to describe gum disease that has progressed into a more severe stage. This happens when bacteria spreads below the gum line. Your gums may become irritated or inflamed and can cause the gum tissue to weaken. This can cause loose teeth or even the loss of one or more teeth.

How Does Gum Disease Affect the Body?

The bacteria in gum disease can cause various health issues throughout the body. Numerous studies have shown that gum disease has been linked to serious medical conditions and diseases including:

Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease can help keep your body protected from these serious health concerns. This is one reason you should see your dentist in Georgetown regularly.

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth

If you’ve noticed any signs of gum disease if you’re due for a dental checkup, we welcome you to call our Georgetown dental office as soon as possible. We’re here to keep your mouth, and your body, healthy.

How Can I Learn to Be Greener?

heart in hedgeA lot of patients at our Georgetown dental office see all of the environmentally friendly things that we do and think, “Wow. I can barely recycle soda cans. How do they do all that?” It really isn’t as hard as it looks, it just takes the time and commitment to change your routine. We’d like to talk about a couple of changes we made in our office, and suggest a couple of changes that you can easily make at home to help reduce your carbon footprint, cut down on waste, and save the environment.

We Embrace Technology

Transferring all of our patient records from paper to electronics wasn’t just convenient, it was in an effort to reduce all that wasteful paper and file folders taking up space. Think of all the trees that have to be cut down and processed to print out all that intake paperwork. Now, we can do it on an iPad and easily access that information without using reams and reams of paper.

How can you embrace technology?

Have you thought about converting some of your utility bills to paperless billing? Or filing your taxes online and saving the finished forms as a pdf on your computer? Just think of all the paper you wouldn’t have to touch.

We Reduce Waste

When you come to our Georgetown dental office for an appointment, you’ll see soft, cloth towels in the bathroom rather than rolls of paper towels. Why? We’re cutting down on waste by using towels that we can easily pop in the wash and re-use, rather than rolls and rolls of paper that will clutter up a landfill.

How can you reduce waste?

Consider using a mop with a reusable, washable head for cleaning floors, switching to cloth dish-towels in the kitchen instead of disposable paper ones, and think about buying soaps and other liquids in bulk and refilling bottles rather than constantly having to throw them away.

We Save Water

When you come for your preventive cleaning, we’ll encourage you to turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth everyday. Leaving the water running wastes up to 90 glasses of water per day! This is something that we all do here at the office, and we encourage everyone to pass on our message of environmental stewardship.

How can you save water?

That’s easy! Take the “Save 90 a Day” pledge and show that you really do want to help make a difference and protect the world around you.

We hope that these little tips have made you realize that being environmentally conscious, both at work and at home, isn’t as hard as you might think. For more ideas, or if you’re due for your hygiene visit, give us a call today!