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Juno Beach dentists say gum disease affects overall health

June 9, 2016

Your gums and overall health affect each other. Juno Beach dentists, Dr. Greg Riley and Dr. Duane Keuning, talk about the whys and hows.What happens inside your mouth changes your systemic health.  Your skilled Juno Beach dentists, Greg Riley DMD and Duane Keuning DMD, prevent and treat gum disease to keep patients healthy and smiling.

Dentistry is more than filling cavities

The professional team at Juno Beach smiles advises patients of all ages to have semi-annual check-ups and cleanings to keep teeth, gums and overall well-being vibrant. Your semi-annual exam includes:

  • inspection for dental cavities
  • periodontal pocket measurement to assess for gum disease
  • a bite assessment
  • oral cancer screening
  • digital x-rays when necessary
  • TMJ and bruxism check
  • tooth scaling and polishing
  • Inspection of existing restorations such as crowns and fillings

The soft tissues of the mouth–gums, tongue, cheeks– frequently indicate issues in other parts of the body. For instance, some oral infections, such as yeast, may mean diabetes. Some medications, such as those used to battle cancer, adversely affect gums and tooth enamel. Poor nutrition changes gums, enamel and underlying bone, too.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, GA, over 47 million American adults have active gum disease of varying severity.  While gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis)  causes deterioration and infection of bone structure, soft tissues and teeth, it affects the rest of the body, too, increasing inflammation, reducing immune responses and linking to many major health conditions such as:

  • Type-2 diabetes
  • hypertension
  • stroke
  • heart disease
  • heart attack
  • osteoporosis
  • dementia
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • acid reflux disease
  • respiratory infections
  • pregnancy complications
  • low birth weight infants

Professional cleanings are important

Twice daily brushing and flossing once a day keep teeth sparkling, and they eliminate biofilm, the sticky plaque and hard tartar on tooth surfaces and underneath the gumline. This biofilm originates with the foods we eat, particularly starches and sugars. It contains poisonous bacteria that degrade tooth enamel and lead to gum disease. Routine cleanings with your Juno Beach dentist remove the plaque and tartar that even the best of at-home oral hygiene leaves behind.

Gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, causes bleeding, tender gums and bad breath. When untreated, gingivitis develops into periodontitis which destroys gums and bone and also loosens teeth. Tooth loss is almost inevitable.

This bacterial infection, and its subsequent oral and overall health problems, can be treated by Drs. Riley and Keuning. Tooth scaling and root planing remove plaque and tartar and smooth root surfaces so that gums reattach to the teeth.

Are your gums affecting the rest of your body?

Contact the Juno Beach Smiles team for your semi-annual hygienic cleaning and examination. A healthy mouth equals a healthy you. Call the office today!

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