Rescued Chilean Miners All Suffering From Gum Disease

Only weeks ago the entire world held their collective breath, and marveled together as 33 Chilean miners were rescued from a collapsed shaft after being trapped underground for more than 2 months. In addition to other health concerns from being in this situation, it has become clear that they all now share one ailment: gum disease. For the first 17 days none of the 33 were able to brush their teeth. Poor nutrition, stress, and cigarettes supplied to them all combined to allow the natural bacteria present in the mouth to grow out of control. Eventually, a small hole was drilled from the surface and supplies were provided, but the damage had already been done.   This goes to show how quickly gum disease can develop if proper oral hygiene isnt maintained. However, gum disease can be prevented and even reversed if caught soon enough- before it develops further into periodontal disease. Warning signs are sore, swollen, red, or bleeding gums. As it worsens, the gums can recede or pull away from the teeth, resulting in increased sensitivity.   Gum disease is not only an important condition to pay attention to for your oral health, but it has also been linked to numerous other conditions including cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. The same bacteria that forms sticky plaques in your mouth can access the blood stream if your gums bleed, and cause the same type of plaque buildup in the arteries.   The most important things you can do to prevent things like this from taking place is to be sure to brush at least twice a day, use a mouthwash twice a day, and floss at least once a day. Flossing can be the most important part, even though many skip it. Preventing food particles from decaying between the teeth will keep harmful bacteria and their acidic waste from causing further direct damage to the gum tissue itself.   Gum disease doesnt take long to develop, as weve seen in the example of the Chilean miners plight. Its likely that they will all fully recover, but you and I can take action to prevent the situation from arising in the first place.  

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