What Can Gum Health Reveal About Overall Health?
The color, size, shape, and feel of your gums can tell you a lot about your overall health. It’s important to periodically review these characteristics, as your mouth might be trying to tell you something.
Gum health is important to overall health. The condition of your gums can give you a window into a handful of possible health issues – such as diabetes or sleep apnea – and you can catch these signs early by paying attention to your oral hygiene.
Here are a few ways to lean on your gum health to identify other issues in the body.
Gum Disease and Other Issues
Sometimes referred to as “The silent killer”, gum disease may start off as a handful of non-threatening symptoms; but it can evolve into a more serious disease called periodontal disease, where patients can even succumb to tooth loss.
However, gum disease is only half of the equation. Your gums can be a window into your overall health. Analyzing your gums can reveal:
- Sleep Apnea – A common condition where the airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep
- Bruxism – An involuntary or habitual grinding of the teeth, typically during sleep
- STDs – Yes, your gums can even tell you if you have a possible STD, such as herpes HSV-1/HSV-2
- Anemia – If your gums look too light colored (almost pale), it could be a sign that you are anemic
- Dry Gums – This could be a sign that you have an immune system issue
It’s important to talk to your oral health care professional first before jumping to any conclusions. Only a doctor or dentist can accurately diagnose these issues before recommending any type of treatments.
Potential Links To Other Diseases
A convincing body of evidence has suggested that gum disease promotes an oral-systemic connection to overall health.
This evidence is based on the research found during studies which look at the heart and other organs. The research is not yet fully understood, albeit doctors and dentists alike agree that there is a clear link between gum disease and heart disease.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has even gone on record to say that periodontal disease and heart health have an association. However, additional research is needed to establish whether one causes the other or not.
Learn More About Gum Health
Oral healthcare professionals like Dr. Woo are dedicated to educating patients about gum health and the oral-systemic connection. Contact Dr. Woo and his staff today to learn more information.