It’s easy to ignore, but a little bit of tooth decay or gum disease always leads to a little bit more. The outcome of these untreated problems inevitably becomes pain, emergency treatment, and tooth loss. So why does this happen?
It’s an infection.
Millions of bacteria swarm our mouths, many of them harmless and even beneficial. But a few bad characters wreak havoc on the hard and soft tissues of the mouth in many people. Like all living creatures, they need an energy source. Sugars are their snack of choice, and they use simple carbohydrates from our diet to manufacture energy.
Like all living creatures making energy, they also produce waste. These acidic wastes deposited on the teeth erode the hard enamel surfaces and form holes, known as cavities.
Some bacteria produce a toxic waste that causes bleeding gums and destruction of the bone around the teeth. In fact, this is the leading reason people lose their teeth and end up with dentures. It’s all part of an infection.
Most infections can be treated with antibiotics, but mouth bacteria require a different approach. Regular checkups help us identify new cavities, and periodic cleanings remove mineralized deposits that harbor millions of harmful bacteria. Fluoride varnishes harden tooth surfaces, and high-risk patients benefit from customized approaches with our team.
The complex interaction of infection and inflammation extends beyond the gums and mouth. In fact, research continues to uncover the many ways that problems in our mouths can reach into critical areas of our bodies. For example, mouth bacteria penetrate through bleeding gums and enter the bloodstream. Like a river, blood flow carries the bacteria to the small vessels of the heart and brain. Here they can damage the intricate vessel lining, leading to blockage of the vessel. Heart attack or stroke results..all because of bleeding gums.
The same process deposits mouth bacteria and their toxins in other areas of our bodies and appears related to arthritis, diabetes, and some cancers. In the last few years, we’ve learned that a healthy mouth can affect our overall health in many ways.