November 29, 2020
Did you know your mouth is considered the gateway to your body? Believe it or not, your oral and general health are entwined. In fact, your teeth and gums can directly influence your overall wellbeing. Common dental problems can increase your risk of certain health issues. Gum disease can cause a variety of complications if it isn’t treated by your dentist in Norwood. As a result, it’s more important than ever to maintain a healthy smile. Here are 5 health concerns that can occur from poor gum health.
Gum Disease and Your General Health
Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection caused by bacteria found in plaque and tartar buildup. Although it’s preventable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports at least 50% of adults have a form of it. Not to mention, it’s the leading cause of tooth loss. Unfortunately, the consequences of the infection don’t end in your mouth. It can enter your bloodstream, increasing your risk of various health issues, including:
- Cardiovascular Disease
As the bacteria circulate throughout your body, they cause an inflammatory response. In addition, the arteries can harden from plaque. They will be narrowed or blocked, raising your risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.
Recent studies suggest the oral infection can also heighten the likeliness of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have found bacteria from gum disease in the brain tissues of deceased dementia patients. It’s believed the bacteria spread to the nerve channels or bloodstream to infect the brain.
- Respiratory Infections
Bacteria from your mouth can be inhaled into the lungs or travel to the organs via the bloodstream. This can cause respiratory infections, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and COPD.
Patients who have diabetes are prone to infections, which can be difficult to treat. Unfortunately, gum disease is a common complication of diabetes. If the infection is present, it can cause your diabetic symptoms to worsen.
- Pregnancy Complications
Expectant mothers are susceptible to gum disease because of hormonal changes. If the infection occurs and isn’t treated, pregnancy complications can arise, like preterm birth and low birth weight.
Invest in a Healthy Mouth and Body
You can keep your mouth and body healthy by committing to your oral hygiene routine at home. It’s best to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and tartar-control toothpaste to brush your teeth at least twice daily. Clean all surfaces of your teeth for at least 2 minutes. Besides brushing, don’t forget to use high-quality dental floss to clean between each tooth before going to bed.
You’ll also need to see your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. If you develop any signs of the infection between your routine visits, don’t wait to contact your dentist.
About Dr. John T. Michaels
Dr. Michaels earned his dental degree at Ohio State University Dental School. He has completed over 1000 hours of advanced training in many specialties, including periodontics. If you have gum disease, don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact our office today for an appointment.
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