How Gum Disease Affects the Body
Many people think gum disease (periodontitis) only affects your oral health, but that’s not true. The bacteria that causes the disease is linked to several serious diseases and conditions. The bacteria can travel through your bloodstream and cause damage to your body. The team at Smiles by Holsinger & Higgins wants you to know how gum disease affects the body.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums caused by plaque. With proper oral hygiene, gingivitis is reversible. Left untreated, it progresses to gum disease, which can destroy gum tissue and the surrounding bone. Bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream and spread throughout the body.
Signs of Gum Disease
- Gums bleed easily
- Tender, red, and swollen gums
- Gum recession
- Loose permanent teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in the way the teeth come together
Disease and Conditions Linked to Gum Disease
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Premature births
Smoking and Tobacco Use — Tobacco use is one of the most significant risk factors for gum disease.
Alcohol — Heavy drinkers have a higher risk of gum disease.
Genetics — If there is a family history of gum disease, people are more prone to developing the disease.
HPV — People diagnosed with HPV have a greater risk of getting gum disease.
Diabetes — Diabetics with uncontrolled blood sugar have an increased risk of advanced gum disease.
Age — People age 65 and older have higher incidences of gum disease.
Pregnancy — Pregnancy hormonal changes can cause gingivitis, which leads to gum disease if left untreated.
Diet — Poor nutrition weakens the body’s immune system, making it harder for the body to resist infection.
Stress — Stress can make fighting off infections like gum disease difficult for the body to handle.
Poor oral hygiene — Not brushing and flossing regularly can cause a buildup of plaque, which leads to gum disease if changes aren’t made to prevent it.
Gum disease can affect the body in many ways. Protect yourself by practicing proper oral hygiene and getting regularly scheduled exams and cleanings. How long has it been since your last dental visit? If you live in Denton, Maryland, or the surrounding areas, contact our office to schedule an appointment.