Bleeding gums! could they be killing us?
As a very keen dental hygiene student, in the early 1980″s I was fascinated by immunology and the way the body reacted to a threat whether it was bacterial, chemical or traumatic, and how much damage it actually did to itself once the inflammatory response had been triggered.
The level of understanding all those years ago, has been researched updated and documented, but we still find the human body and her defense mechanisms a mystery. Many systemic diseases are rampant in our society, including Diabetes, and Cardio-vascular disease(CVD).
I’m not going to get into depth about the mechanisms that can cause, or have been linked to systemic disease because quite frankly smarter people than me are investigating the links as we read, but have no definitive evidence of the direct cause, suffice to say that the inflammatory response once activated can cause a significant amount of damage to our own cells.
Gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums, is the early stage of gum disease and it is reversible, however for some strange reason many people ignore bleeding from their gum tissue and accept this as part of the norm, well its not!! Healthy gum tissue doesn’t bleed! If you go to the bathroom and wipe your bottom, and notice blood you would be concerned …. same pipe different end! Still the same symptoms though, bleeding and generally no pain.
I see gingivitis or bleeding gums most days, in fact every day I am in practice, in children as young as four and five years old, and then every age in between. This chronic painless state has already triggered our bodies defense mechanisms at this stage, and this condition can persist asymptomatically for many years if not treated.This chronic exposure to local and systemic inflammation may induce or enhance already existing inflamatory disease including atherosclerosis(CVD)
A routine dental clean and check up, will help you identify any areas of gum disease you may have, and with simple brushing and flossing, the inflammatory response can be controlled orally.
There are many factors that contribute to both diseases, cardiovascular and gum disease, it may be years before the true triggers are recognized. I find myself with furry pipes, and a significant amount of atherosclerosis with a dreadful family history of heart disease. Dental professionals are not exempt by any means but I do know that I dont have bleeding gums.
If you have any concerns please contact us, or leave a comment if you need further information