There has been numerous studies directly linking the health of our teeth and gums to our overall health and wellness. Gum disease specifically has been linked to life-threatening diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation of the prostate, as well as kidney disease, just to name a few. This is not even mentioning the havoc that it wreaks specifically on your teeth and jaw. It is no stretch of the imagination that poor oral health can absolutely hinder an athlete’s performance.
Gum disease, which begins as a buildup of plaque-forming bacteria on the surface of your teeth and gums, comes in several stages. Initially, gum disease is marked by inflamed and irritated gums that bleed easily. If left unchecked it can proceed to periodontal disease where the gums begin to recede and your teeth begin to shift and fall out.
During any stage of gum disease, the bacteria tend to gather around the gum line. There also happens to be a number of blood veins in and around the gingiva which deliver much-needed nutrients to your teeth and gums. Daily activity, such as brushing, flossing, eating, or going to the dentist can allow this bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This is how gum disease tends to harm other parts of the body, and this is why everyone, but especially athletes who need their bodies to be in top shape, needs to make sure their teeth and gums are in great shape.
While there are a number of experimental treatments for gum disease out there, the best treatment is prevention. You should be brushing at least twice per day, and using mouthwash and flossing at least once per day. Regularly visiting a dentist is also key not only for prevention but for catching any issues that may occur with your oral health. For those of you who live in the Beverly Hills area, please consider visiting Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD. If you would like to schedule an appointment or have any questions, please give us a call at (310) 275-5325 today.