How Gum Disease Can Affect Your Lungs

The Surprising Connection Between Your Mouth and Respiratory Diseases

It may be difficult to realize that there is a connection between something like gum disease and what happens in your lungs. Gum disease is made up of very small bacteria but it can have a powerful and negative influence on your lungs and your body as a whole. 

About Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by certain bacteria (Porphyromonas gingivalis) normally found in your mouth that gets out of control when an imbalance of some kind occurs. In a healthy mouth, the more than 500 other kinds of bacteria will usually keep it under control. Things like a lack of proper oral care, consuming a lot of sugary products, and smoking can produce the imbalance and promote gum disease. 

The bacteria irritate the gums because it produces acid whenever you consume sugar or carbs. After a while, you will see inflammation on your gums and they may bleed when you brush or floss them. This is the first stage of gum disease called gingivitis. By brushing twice a day and flossing, you can usually eliminate it at this stage. 

 

How Gum Disease Progresses

If you do not eliminate it soon, it will progress to become periodontitis. Once it has reached this stage, you cannot remove it. You will need to contact a dentist for help and it will continue to get worse. 

After it gets into your gums – through the tartar on your teeth, it also has gained access to your bloodstream. Everywhere the bacteria travels, it will trigger an immune response. Along with your platelets, it becomes stuck to the walls of your blood vessels and in your organs. This narrows the vessels, restricting the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to your lungs.

 

Gum disease

 

How Bacteria Gets Into the Lungs

The harmful bacteria are in your mouth all the time. It is always continuing to multiply, and as it does, it forms plaque on your teeth. Saliva will normally help to wash it off your teeth and gums. As the bacteria become out of balance and there are more of them, they can be inhaled on drops of saliva.

In a healthy person, your lungs can usually defend themselves against invaders from this type of bacteria. In people who are not healthy, or who have a weak immune system, it can cause serious problems. It can make existing problems, such as asthma and COPD worse. It can also cause pneumonia, which could be fatal in someone with a weak immune system.  

One recent study involved 200 participants that were between 20 and 60 and had at least 20 natural teeth. Half of them were in a hospital because of respiratory illnesses that included COPD, pneumonia, and bronchitis. The rest of the participants were healthy and did not have any background history of respiratory illness. The study found that the hospitalized group all had worse periodontal disease than the healthy group. 

 

Pneumonia

One study conducted at the Yale University School of Medicine discovered that changes in the oral bacteria occurred before pneumonia developed. This connection indicates that there is a possibility that brushing your teeth and flossing more often may be able to reduce the likelihood of getting pneumonia. Knowing this can be very valuable to help protect the health of seniors and young children. It also helps to know that you may be able to ensure their health in a rather simple way. 

 

COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease that currently has no cure. It is presently the third most prevalent cause of death in the United States. It is likely that gum disease is also behind the formation of this disease. When you have this disease, an increase of the harmful bacteria in gum disease can cause flare-ups. If you have periodontal disease and you are in contact with other lung irritants, such as from smoking or smog, it can increase your risk of COPD

 

Why Dentures May Be a Problem

If dentures are not cleaned regularly, the harmful bacteria can also build upon them, and then it can be breathed into your lungs. Dentures should be cleaned daily to reduce the bacteria and to keep your breath fresh. 

 

Seniors at Greatest Risk

Seniors living in a nursing home or other close facility such as long-term care institutions are at a greater risk of developing lung problems. This is especially true if oral health is not maintained. Health issues such as pneumonia are also contagious, making this environment a potential health risk. 

senior citizen gum disease

To get more information about gum disease or periodontal treatment, you can contact Champion Dental clinic office at (214) 747 0763 and book a free consultation.

Dental Health for Young Adults

Why young adults need ongoing dental care

People of every age have certain dental needs and each group requires some unique dental care. The nature of the oral cavity changes over the years. For young adults between the ages of 19 to 24, who has just left home to live on their own, or are in a college dorm or military barracks, you should know that if your teeth are going to stay healthy, you need to be aware of those changes and the dental care needed to meet them. 

 

Dental care for young adults

Developing Good Oral Hygiene Habits

Failing to take care of your teeth properly can ruin your smile quickly. Not only will it lead to cavities, but it will also lead to gum disease – which can be costly to repair. A lack of good oral hygiene is the main cause of the development of gum disease. You can help prevent dental problems by developing a habit of brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing – preferably before you go to sleep.

After you eat sweets or anything with sugar or acid in it, you should rinse your mouth out with water afterward. Avoid brushing your teeth after consuming these foods for at least 20 minutes because the acid softens your enamel and brushing them too soon can cause tiny pieces of enamel to break off. 

Cavities

Cavities are caused by the acid that is naturally found in your mouth. While still small, getting a cavity filled is a simple task – and inexpensive. If not treated, it will lead to a sensitive tooth, and then it may require a dental crown or you may need a tooth extraction. If it is extracted, it will require a dental implant and a dental crown, or a dental bridge, replace it – very expensive. 

You have several choices of materials when you get dental fillings. White fillings are very popular today because they help your teeth to look healthy and no one will know you needed one. They will last between five to seven years. Amalgam fillings are cheaper but they will last a long time.

Wisdom Teeth

You can expect your wisdom teeth to come in between the ages of 17 and 25. They may or may not be a problem, but having a dentist check your wisdom teeth and their position is a good idea. An x-ray will need to be taken and the dentist will be able to tell if they can be left alone or if one or more should be removed. Wisdom teeth can come in sideways, be impacted (buried in bone), and cause other problems such as developing an infection or gum disease. It is best, and safer, to have a wisdom tooth extraction before age 25 because it becomes more complicated as you get older.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a problem that starts small but can quickly become a very big and expensive dental problem. The first symptoms of gum disease are gums that are inflamed and bleed when you brush or floss them. With regular daily brushing and flossing, you can eliminate it at this stage. 

If your oral hygiene does not improve, it will become periodontitis – a much more serious problem. Gum disease is caused by bacteria in your mouth that get out of control. It gets into your gums through the tartar (hardened plaque) on your teeth. The acid irritates the gums and starts an immune reaction that will not stop until treated by a dentist. 

The symptoms of periodontitis include receding gums, spaces developing between your teeth, pus at the gum line, pain when you bite, loose teeth, and your teeth may even fall out. These symptoms occur because your immune system attacks your gums, the support structures for your teeth, and the jawbone. 

Eating for Healthy Teeth

It can be easy to live off of fast food between these ages. If you are in college, you naturally want something easy to fix or obtain because time is always an issue. The problem with this is that your teeth need healthy foods to be able to fight off gum disease and cavities. 

Several types of food will ruin your teeth quickly. If you eat a lot of foods that are high in sugar, it will promote the growth of the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities and gum disease. Since the bacteria feed on sugar, drinking sodas and specialized coffees all day will quickly make the matter worse. 

In addition to sugar, sodas and fruit juices also contain acid. Along with the acid from the bacteria, it will erode the enamel faster and cause cavities sooner. The acid also demineralizes some of the minerals out of the enamel. Eating a healthy diet helps to remineralize your teeth with the needed minerals and keeps them strong. If you have spots on your teeth that are chalky white, your teeth are demineralizing faster than they are remineralizing. which means tooth decay has started. 

Smoking

Lighting up that cigarette is going to do more than stain your teeth. Nicotine also reduces the flow of blood in your gums, which also reduces the effectiveness of your gum’s immune system to fight off gum disease and oral cancer. Many people who smoke or use tobacco products have gum disease and they have it worse than people who do not smoke.

Smoking and Teeth

Alcohol

Alcohol will also hurt your teeth. Red wine will stain them, and alcohol, in general, will dry out your mouth. Your saliva will normally help to reduce the acid and bacteria on your teeth, but a dry mouth enables more bacteria and acid to develop above normal levels in your mouth.

Women’s Issues

When young women are going through their period or are pregnant, there are changes taking place in the hormone levels that will affect their teeth and gums. You may develop gum disease during these occasions and dental visits are recommended (especially when pregnant) to keep it under control. 

dental surgeon for young adults

Champion Dental

The Secret to Dental Health Is to Eliminate Plaque

The Secret to Dental Health Is to Eliminate Plaque

Your Teeth’s Hidden Enemy

Making sure that your teeth will stick around and look good for a long time is the result of having good oral health. You can be sure that it does not happen by accident, and it is also true that many people do not know until it is too late. If you want to know the secret to have good dental health, it starts at home.

What Is Dental Plaque?

Every day you will find that there is a film that forms on your teeth. It is nearly invisible, and it is called dental plaque. The film is sticky, and it is made up of bacteria. The bacteria are naturally in your mouth, and some of it is good, and some are just plain bad. The bacteria multiply fast enough to form this film every single day.

Every time you eat sugars or carbs, the bacteria feed too. Unfortunately, the bad bacteria produce an acid afterward. Because most Americans eat a lot of sweets, this has resulted in a lot of dental problems. In fact, 19 percent of adults over 65 do not have any natural teeth.

Why Does Plaque Need to Be Removed?

As long as the bacteria are left on the teeth to form acid, it is damaging the enamel on your teeth. This leads to eroded enamel, cavities, and sensitive teeth. Some of the bacteria will cause cavities, and another kind causes gum disease.

Even worse is that when the plaque is not removed, it becomes tartar (also called calculus). Plaque can easily be removed, but tartar can only be removed by a dentist. Tartar is hard but porous, and the bacteria are still in the tartar¡769281767677 and continue to cause damage – and you have no way to stop it.

How Serious Is Gum Disease?

The acid from bad bacteria in the plaque will also start to irritate the gums. This leads to inflammation. As the bacteria enter the gums, it can also enter the bloodstream, and from there to the rest of your body. Once there, even more serious damage starts to occur.

It is now known that inflammation and the bacteria that cause gum disease are behind the development of many serious health problems. This includes diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, heart attack, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, several kinds of cancer, and many more.

As the bacteria begin to build up in pockets in the gums, the acid is still being produced. Only now it is being made in larger quantities, and you have no way to remove it – or stop it. The acid now slowly destroys your gums, the support structures for your teeth, and your jaw bone. Before long, if not treated, your teeth will start to become loose, and may even completely fall out.

Where Did All These Problems Start?

The health of your mouth and your body start deteriorating when plaque – a nearly invisible film – is not eliminated from your teeth every day. The longer it stays on your teeth, the more damage that is done to your teeth. How is it removed? All this is needed is just to brush twice a day and floss.

What are the symptoms of Gum Disease?

The first symptoms you will have of gum disease are bleeding gums and red or inflamed gums. Most people never take this seriously, but it indicates that the bacteria and acid are already at work – and they are in your bloodstream already.

How is Tartar Removed?

Tartar is made up of various minerals that are found in your saliva. It forms at the gum line, as well as below it. It is hard, and only your dentist can remove it with special dental tools. After removing the tartar, the dentist will polish your teeth, which removes rough surfaces that the bacteria can easily accumulate on.

How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?

Keeping the bacteria off of your teeth is the way to maintain healthy teeth. By regularly brushing teeth twice a day and carefully flossing, you can keep enough plaque off to ensure that you will keep your teeth longer. Using some anti-microbial mouthwash will also help.

If you already have plaque buildup on your teeth and tartar, it will be necessary to have a dental cleaning. You also may have gingivitis or the more severe periodontitis. Several types of gum disease treatment are available at the dentist office, where you can get an evaluation and correction of dental problems.

If you need dental tartar removal to help eliminate plaque, and if you live in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas, you can get help with your dental health from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist. He can help to restore healthy teeth, as well as provide cosmetic dentistry to give you back the beautiful smile you want. For more information about his dental services, or to set up an appointment, you can call his office today at (817) 756-8578.