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The importance of Oral Hygiene in the Treatment of Gum Disease in San Francisco

We talk about dental disease and proper oral hygiene, but the details and their association are often missed. The terms periodontal disease and gum disease are often used interchangeably since they usually refer to the same condition.

But gum disease resides only in my mouth, you say. True, but the effects of gum disease reach first into the gum tissue – a condition known as gingivitis – and then into the bone surrounding the teeth – a condition known as periodontitis. Periodontitis, the condition that up to 90 percent of our population is dealing with, is the most destructive form of dental disease that can lead to tooth loss. After that, the bacteria associated with poor oral health will travel to other parts of the body. Dr. Arellano suggests early treatment of gum disease in San Francisco in order to avoid these potential risks to your overall health.

Just how much gum disease affects your overall health is dependent on the extent of the disease and the duration of the infection. Even moderate gum disease will expose the body to excessive amounts of dangerous bacteria from the infection that is present in the gums and to the harmful affects of chronic inflammation. Due to the stress this places on the immune system, the body has a harder time fighting any other disease conditions that may exist.

Studies have shown that gum disease can increase both the risk and the severity of:
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Respiratory disease
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Low preterm birth weights
All of these potential risks can be avoided through the detection and treatment of gum disease. Simply improving your oral hygiene at home will make a difference in gum health. Brushing should be done twice a day and flossing once a day. Many patients underestimate the power of flossing, but this can remove the bacteria that reside in the crevices under the gum tissue between teeth. Adding an anti-bacterial mouthwash to your daily routine can also be beneficial. But other tools and techniques may be needed to fully control the gum disease.

Although gum disease cannot be cured, it can be controlled with treatment and good daily oral hygiene. Take steps at home, and obtain a thorough assessment with Dr. Arellano to see if further treatment is needed.

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