How healthy is your mouth? Unless you’ve been evaluated by a dentist recently, you may not know the answer to that question. If you look in the mirror and see straight, white teeth, you probably think all is well. What you may not see are the ever-so-subtle signs of infection separating your teeth from your gums and chewing away at the bone. When detected early, gum disease can be treated conservatively and effectively before it does significant damage. Unfortunately, many people think that gums aren’t that important and they fail to take this disease seriously. Why should you be concerned?

Gum disease is actually the biggest threat to your beautiful smile, beyond wine stains or chips. It is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Missing teeth are one of the most cosmetically damaging dental problems, as well as endangering your overall oral health. That alone should be reason enough to get a periodontal evaluation, and treatment if necessary. However, it is far from the only reason.

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Researchers have discovered a staggering number of medical problems linked to gum disease. They include:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pre-term and low-birth weight babies
  • Respiratory disease
  • Cancer
  • Sexual dysfunction in men

The precise nature of the connection is not known, but bacteria were originally blamed. They mix with your saliva, your food, and even the air you breathe. Naturally, they are distributed throughout your body via your lungs and digestive system. Scientists have recently discovered that inflammation may also play a significant role. The body releases excessive amounts of specific proteins in response to chronically inflamed gums, which can be harmful to the rest of your body.

Your health and your smile are too important to risk. Dr. Dietrich of Pleasant Dental® offers a full range of services, including gum disease evaluation and treatment, for residents of Dolton, Calumet City, South Holland, Riverdale and other Chicago area communities. Call (708) 576-1900 and schedule your consultation today. A simple examination and cleaning every six months won’t take much time out of your day, and it could help save your teeth, or even your health.

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