bacteriaIn all the talk about tooth decay and cavities, it can be easy to overlook your gums. However, caring for your gums is a very important part of oral health. Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. In addition, because gum disease is the result of bacteria, your overall health can suffer. Recent research has linked gum disease with heart disease, underscoring the importance of caring for your gums.

Gingivitis is often the first development in gum disease, and because gingivitis is inflammation, patients sometimes believe that treatment is unnecessary. But did you know that the bacteria responsible for gingivitis actually inhibit the immune system? Your Dallas dentist, Dr. Diep Truong, explains how gingivitis fools the immune system.

Gingivitis and the Immune System

The bacteria responsible for gingivitis are called porphyromonas gingivalis. These bacteria have an interesting effect on the body. Their presence triggers the production of an anti-inflammatory molecule called IL-10. This molecule, in turn, stops T-cells, blood cells which fight diseases and harmful substances, from working against the infection.

Fighting Gum Disease

Preventing gum disease involves keeping teeth clean of plaque and tartar, which contain harmful bacteria. To keep teeth clean, brush twice a day and floss once. When brushing, be sure to angle the bristles of the toothbrush toward the gum line. Changing your diet can also prove useful in the fight against gum disease. A diet consisting of too much sugar can feed bacteria and contribute to the formation of plaque. In addition to implementing good homecare and a healthy diet, visit your Dallas dentist, Dr. Truong, every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.

Schedule a Visit with Your Dallas Dentist

Have you had a dental visit in the past six months? Regular dental visits are an important part of your oral health regimen. If you’re due for a checkup, schedule an appointment with your Dallas dentist, Dr. Truong, today by calling 972-437-6000. Patients can also make an appointment with our West Dallas dentist office, near Cockrell Hill, Irving, and Grand Prairie at (214) 337-7800. We are proud to serve patients in the 75211 and 75080 zip codes, and surrounding neighborhoods.