From pool parties with friends and family to some much-needed rest and relaxation, summer is full of reasons to smile. Now, thanks to some recent studies published in the Journal of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, you have another reason: your gums! This research reinforces previous findings that connect lack of exposure to sunlight to a higher risk of gum disease. Read on as we go over why this is so important and how the sun can help keep your gums healthy!
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gum tissue that’s often brought about by poor oral hygiene. When plaque and bacteria aren’t removed regularly and thoroughly, they can infect the gums. Over time, this infection can progress from causing inflammation and sensitivity in the gum tissue to permanent damage in the gums and jawbone. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the US! Unfortunately, the negative effects of gum disease don’t stop there. This condition has also been linked to a higher risk of systemic health problems like heart disease, diabetes, memory loss, and more. Thankfully, the earliest stages of gum disease can be reversed, and perhaps entirely avoided, with a few simple healthy habits and some sun exposure.
The Sun Can Help You Get a Healthier Smile
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that can help prevent gum disease. This vitamin plays a key role in the immune system and its ability to effectively and quickly fight off infection. Since gum disease is an infection in the gums, an increase in your vitamin D intake could make a difference in keeping it at bay.
While vitamin D can be found in many healthy foods, such as oily fish, red mean, and fortified foods, but the best way to get it is through sun exposure. Vitamin D can naturally be made from the cholesterol in your skin. When the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays make contact with the cholesterol in your skin, enough energy is provided to synthesize vitamin D.
Treatment Options for Gum Disease
While boosting your vitamin D levels with some sun exposure shouldn’t take the place of your regular brushing and flossing, it could be a simple and effective way to positively influence your gum health. However, if you suspect you may have the warning signs of gum disease, you should talk to your dentist right away. Periodontal therapy treatments like scaling and root planning may be key to getting your gum health back on track.
About the Practice
The talented team of University Dental Professionals is dedicated to helping the smiles of Chicago avoid oral health problems with personalized preventive dentistry. However, they are well-equipped and ready to help should you find yourself with unhealthy gums or periodontal disease. Not only do they offer deep cleanings to eliminate the infection, but they offer services like gum grafting, osseous surgery, and ridge preservation to help repair any damage that may have been caused. If you have puffy, bleeding gums, don’t hesitate to get in contact with them right away online or at (773) 684-5702.