Gum disease, also known as Periodontal Disease, is the inflammation and infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth. If left unchecked, teeth may fall out on their own or need to be removed. Catching and treating gum disease in the early stages is essential to preventing tooth loss. Red, swollen or bleeding gums are just a few of the signs of gum disease, but many people have no warning signs at all.
There is more at stake than your teeth. Gum disease has known links to several illnesses. Recent research shows that systemic inflammation in the body is the likely cause for many of these connections rather than bacteria as was believed in the past. It’s important to include a dentist as part of your professional health team. Treating any existing gum disease you may have could not only improve your oral health, but your overall health as well. Call us to make an appointment to assess your gum health.
Here’s a partial list of illnesses that can go hand-in-hand with gum disease.
Surprised? This is one issue that can be caused by bacteria in the mouth. People with gum disease in particular can inhale bacteria into their lungs leading to respiratory illnesses.
Having gum disease increases the risk of heart disease. It may also worsen existing heart conditions. If you are diagnosed with a heart condition, you should discuss the possible need for antibiotics prior to dental procedures with your doctor.
People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease, which is considered a complication of diabetes. Gum disease, in turn, can cause complications by making it more difficult to control blood sugar.
Increased systemic inflammation caused by gum disease has a stroke risk correlation similar to that of high blood pressure.
The bone loss throughout your body due to osteoporosis can include your jaw compromising the foundation that supports your teeth and can lead to tooth loss.
Cancers in Men
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, researchers have discovered that men with a history of gum disease are 14% more likely to develop cancer than men with healthy gums. Of men with gum disease, 49% are more likely than women to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30% more likely to develop blood cancers.