5 Reasons Why Gum Disease Risks Are Bad for Your Health
Gum disease risks include foul breath and bleeding gums, but the negative effects can extend beyond these. When gingivitis or periodontitis is left untreated, problems can develop elsewhere in the body. Here are five health issues connected to your oral health.
1. Oral Bacteria Increases the Risk of Heart Disease
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease might increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and it can worsen existing heart conditions. This is believed to occur when oral bacteria makes its way through the bloodstream toward the heart.
Once there, harmful bacteria cause an inflammatory response, which is a leading cause behind hardening of the arteries. This effect on the arteries also means that gum disease increases your stroke risk.
Those who have existing heart conditions are especially susceptible to serious consequences of oral infections. This is why most heart patients are given antibiotics before dental work, to reduce the amount of bacteria entering the bloodstream.
Whether you have a preexisting heart condition or not, pay attention to your oral health and seek prompt treatment for gum disease risks. By reducing your chance of oral infections and bad bacteria, you will reduce your risk of associated heart problems.
2. Gum Disease Increases Your Chance for Respiratory Illnesses
It is easy to see how gum disease risks would include respiratory infections. As you inhale, you draw tiny particles of saliva into your respiratory passages. When this saliva is full of harmful bacteria from gum disease, that bacteria can invade your lungs.
The risk of respiratory infections caused by gum disease is highest in those who have cases that have advanced beyond gingivitis and into periodontitis. This underscores the importance of seeking professional treatment when you have any signs of gingivitis, whether it is swollen gums or even just a buildup of plaque.
3. Gum Disease Bacteria Heightens the Risk of Premature Birth
Pregnant women should take extra care to treat existing gum disease or to avoid it during pregnancy with exceptional oral hygiene. This is partly because a bacterium common to gum infections is linked to premature birth. When this particular type of bacteria enters the bloodstream, which happens easily if your gums are bleeding, it can then make its way into the placenta.
4. Advanced Forms of Gum Disease Can Cause Loose Teeth
Tooth loss is one of the better known gum disease risks, but that doesn
t make it less serious. As gum disease advances and becomes periodontitis, the gums begin to recede and pockets form. Within these pockets, bacteria proliferate and infection takes hold.
Eventually, the soft tissue and bone around the teeth are destroyed. As the structure surrounding the teeth degrade, teeth become loose in the sockets. Without treatment, you are likely to lose teeth.
5. Gum Disease and Dementia
Gum disease risks might even include cognitive decline. A study of Alzheimer
s patients with gum disease showed significantly higher rates of cognitive decline compared to patents with no gum disease.
While the reason for this is still to be shown, the cause is likely to be the same as the heart connection. Researchers believe it probably has to do with the overall inflammatory response of the body toward infection.
It is clear that the effects of gum disease go beyond a minor health nuisance. Taking great care of your teeth and gums is at the top of the list for preventing this disease, as well as safeguarding the health of the rest of your body. Reduce your risks with daily oral hygiene and keep regular dental health visits.
To learn more about how you can prevent gum disease risks or to set up an appointment with a specialist at Central Florida Periodontics, visit our website today.