Gum (periodontal) disease refers to a bacterial infection of the gums, which can occur for many reasons including poor oral hygiene. Since this infection occurs inside the mouth, many people don’t realize that it can actually take a major toll on your entire body’s systemic health, leading to a variety of medical problems.
As bacteria from periodontal disease enters the bloodstream, it increases a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
The bacteria associated with gum disease can cause respiratory infections either by traveling to the lungs through the bloodstream or by actual inhalation.
When bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream or spreads to the nervous system, it can actually harm or kill vital brain cells, leading to memory loss associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The increased risk for pancreatic, kidney, and blood cancers are all directly correlated with poor oral health.
Periodontal disease increases blood sugar levels, putting people with poor oral health at risk of diabetes. Plus, individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to infections like gum disease. If a person with diabetes develops gum disease, disease management is much more challenging.
Systemic infections cause and worsen kidney disease.
Individuals with periodontal disease are four times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis.
Periodontitis puts mothers and babies at risk of low birth weight and early birth. Gum disease is also correlated with female infertility.
Bacteria-related inflammation throughout the body can contribute to problems with ED in men.
The oral health problems related to gum disease are numerous. Gum disease causes painful inflammation and bleeding of the gums. It can lead to persistent bad breath, gum recession, and extreme sensitivity, in addition to oral abscesses and tooth loss.
Prevent gum disease with proper oral hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day and visit the dentist regularly for a professional cleaning and examination.
If you’re already managing gum disease, we encourage you to schedule a periodontal appointment with Dr. Schaffer at Schaffer Dental Excellence in San Diego. We provide a variety of treatment and ongoing management options for patients with gum disease. Call us today!