Happy National Gum Care Month! September is the perfect time to learn more about plaque and how it affects your body as a whole. Plaque is a clear, sticky bacterial film that forms on your teeth throughout the day. For those with good dental hygiene, the potentially harmful film is removed with daily brushing and flossing. However, if left untended, plaque can have effects on oral and overall health.

Plaque and Periodontal Disease  

Because plaque is sticky, it can easily build up without periodic brushing and flossing. Once it hardens, only a general dentist in Amherst, NY can remove it. While in your mouth, the film acts as an adhesive for acids and sugars that contribute to tooth decay. The bacteria can infect the gums, which leads to periodontal or gum disease. If the infection is allowed to progress, it can travel into the bone and ligaments supporting teeth.  

Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis  

Periodontal disease is linked to a variety of other medical issues including rheumatoid arthritis or RA. Rheumatoid arthritis involves the inflammation and pain of joints. The autoimmune disease mainly affects older individuals though it can be found in younger individuals. While RA does not cause periodontal disease, patients with both experienced less RA stiffness, pain and swelling after periodontal treatment.  

Gum Disease and Premature Delivery

While there is some conflicting evidence, the research community suggests women who treat their periodontal disease before their 35th week are more likely to carry their children to term. Premature birth comes with a range of risks to the infant, so the potential link between the two medical issues is being continuously studied.  

Contact Your Local Dentist Today

With regular brushing, flossing and dental check ups, periodontal disease is entirely preventable and treatable. To learn more about oral health and regular check ups, contact your local general dentist in Amherst, NY. You can give Dr. James Lesinski a call at (716) 650-4003 to set up an appointment and discuss preventative care.